India knows how to deal with heat. They have it nailed. Their heat-beating weaponry includes: An infinite number of cooling drinks. Yoghurt dishes galore. Icecreams and cooling desserts. Fruits such as watermelon, musk melon, cucumbers, mangoes, coconuts, limes, fresh kokum. Sugar Cane Juice. Limca. Sweet Lime Soda. Coconut Water.
I saw a recipe for a Punjabi drink made from a roasted green mango and I was hooked. It is Mango Season here and we have an array of different types of sweet, sour, and sweet-sour mangoes. They are all easy to find in our Asian and S.E. Asian shops. This drink is slightly sour and slightly sweet, with a hint of cardamom (or cumin), Indian black salt (which is pink in colour) and black pepper. We make it from roasted green mango, but it can be made from boiled or steamed green mango. The taste is different, though. Roasting gives the drink a slightly smoky flavour.
You can get black salt from any Indian grocery. There isn’t any real substitute, but use sea salt or chaat masala if you can’t find black salt. Adjust the quantities accordingly.
Use any left over roasted mango (or roast 2 of them) to make Mango Rice.
This tart green mango is roasted, and becomes this charred mango:
Aam Ka Panna | Roasted Green Mango Drink
1 medium – large green mango
cold water or sparkling mineral water, or tonic water
4 cardamom pods or 1 tspn cumin powder
1 tspn black salt (from your Indian shop) – add more if you prefer
0.25 tspn black pepper
1 – 2 Tblspn jaggery or white sugar, depending on your preference
Roast the mango in the oven, on the stove top over a gas flame, or on a BBQ (which is my preference). Cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is black and comes away easily. When it is cool, puree the flesh in a blender with the spices, sugar and a little water until smooth .
In a serving jug, add ice cubes, and pour the mango puree over the ice. Add the remainder of the water or use mineral water or tonic water and stir until combined.
Add the mint or garnish with mint leaves (optional).
Serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
The mango can also be boiled, steamed, pressure cooked or carefully microwaved. But grilling or roasting gives it a deeper and smokier flavour.
Leave out the cumin and black salt and use a little chaat masala instead.
The mango puree can be mixed with the spices (without water) and stored in the fridge. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Add a Tblspn to a glass, and add cold water and ice.
I like to puree the mango with some ice cubes so that it is perfectly chilled before pouring over ice in a glass or cup.