Aam Panna

Aam Panna or Panha is a very popular and sought after drink in Northern India especially during the summer months. Made from raw mangoes and spruced up with spices and fresh mint this drink is refreshingly tasty and healthy too. It can be made both by roasting raw mango over an open flame to give that distinct smoky flavor or by boiling chunks of raw mango in water, although the former method is preferred by most people. For most people living in North of India a glass of this tasty beverage is a must everyday.


Ingredients:

Green / Raw Mangoes – 2
Water – 4 cups
Roasted Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Sugar – As per taste
Black salt/ rock salt / kala namak – 1/2 tsp or as required
Crushed Ice – Optional
Mint leaves – To garnish

Method:
Wash and towel dry the mangoes.
Heat over direct flame till the skin is charred. After it cools peel the skin and squeeze out the pulp.
Or alternatively cut the mangoes into large chunks and pressure cook them for 5 to 8 mins. Or boil them till they are soft.
Remove and cool. Blend the mango pulp in a blender along with roasted cumin powder, sugar, rock salt and a little water.
Sugar and salt need to be added in stages according to taste.
Strain the blended pulp if needed and add rest of the water and crushed ice. Mix well.
Serve chilled garnished with a sprig of mint.

Tips:

You can also get creative and add other spices and herbs to try new variations.
Ajwain [ roasted & crushed] and green pepper are a few other suggested options

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Magical Mint Juice

Mint or Pudina, as it is popularly known in India, at once conjures up cool and refreshing images in the mind. For centuries this herb has been used as both seasoning as well as for its medicinal properties. Right from chewing gum and mouthwash to toothpaste and ice creams Mint is a popular flavor.

A chilled glass of Mint Juice combined with a dash of lime is heavenly and gives respite from the hot, summer days. Mint juice can also be had with lime, honey and pepper topped with ice for that soothing effect. It is a naturally flavored drink that does wonders to energize a tired body. Lime juice supplies the required amount of Vitamin C

Mint Juice

Ingredients:

Pudina (Mint)  Leaves – 1 Cup [Washed and cleaned]
Sugar – 1 Cup
Water – 1 Cup
Ginger – 25 gms crushed coarsely
Lime juice – as required
Pepper Powder – optional

Method:

Heat Water and Sugar and bring to a boil.
Lower flame and let it boil till sugar completely dissolves.
Remove from stove. Add Pudina leaves and ginger to the sugar syrup.

Keep the container closed for an hour.
Strain through a fine filter. Store in refrigerator.
When required take one part of syrup and mix with two parts of water. Add lime juice as required to give a tangy taste.
Add a pinch of pepper powder if you like.

Tips:
A dash of green food color can be added to give a green tinge to the syrup. Children will love the bright green color.

This syrup should be consumed within a day or two. If you wish to make in large quantities you can add preservatives to make it last longer.