Its hot out here! Summer is here around this part of the world. To experience a weather with a temperature in late 90s and 100s is not a common thing here in the US. People are flocking all around the swimming pool in front of my apartment, sun bathing with cold beverages in hands. Kids have no time for anything else other-than splashing water and here I am sitting in my patio getting back all the memories from our days back in India.
Summers back home are even harsher than here but they still used to be most fun. Not just because we used to have long vacation away from school and school work or because we were allowed to just go out on the streets and play.. Play n play and just play till the sun goes down and till its dark outside, but also because the season would bring a lot of fun and cool food with itself. Mangoes, lassi, kulfi, a zillion varities of chatni my mom used to make, the list goes on... But something that was kind of a summer staple was Aam Pana.
This drink basically comes from the streets of Northern India and is popular because of its heat resistant properties. A nice and refreshing drink made of raw mangoes which gives it a tangy flavor and right amount of sugar and gud (jaggery) with a hint of mint makes it a perfect thirst quencher.
I am not going to talk more about it because I know I can go on and on. So lets just get down to business!
Ingredients: Its so so easy and quick to make and needs some very basic ingredients that you can find at home everyday or atleast in every Indian household on a summer day!
2 raw mangoes
1/2 tsp salt (salt doesn't really give any flavor to the pana but helps bringing out the tastes of rest of the ingredients)
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp crushed jaggery (if you don't have it handy don't worry just double the quantity of sugar.)
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tsp Toasted and ground cumin (you might not want to overpowder the drink with the cumin because mint should be the hero here!)
Boil the mangoes with skin on. Let it cool and then peel the skin off. Mash the pulp discarding the seed.
Crush mint and seeded jalapenos together to get a nice paste.
Mix everything together and add water to the consistency of pana you would like and put it in the refrigerator to chill.
Garnish with mint leaves.