Aam panna is one drink that finds a place in every part of my life, right from childhood to now with my kids around.
Just like that One day I felt like charting what all we prepare during the 8 month long summers in Delhi, every other day, how the mind starts working around options to curb the heat and make it interesting. The ideas are endless, but to pen it down, was a bit of a trick as I challenged myself to write A-Z series of summer cool drinks.
Now when it has begun, how could mango not find its place in the first post itself ….after all, it is “Phalon kaa rajaa…”….king of fruits!! I could have chosen Amras, but, chose Aam Panna over it as it has memories of my childhood…I know I am so obsessed with my childhood stories, but this is what brings that smile, along with many of my recipe, writing, and posts…
The new session in Delhi starts towards the end of March and early April, and with the new session starts the heat …..and summers are announced. In our school days, we used to carry a large Milton bottle full of cold water and that used to be our day’s respite from the heat. We would come home walking back from the bus stop, and mom would pleasantly serve a large glass of a tangy sweet drink. This is the way I remember AAM PANNA……The house used to fill up with this aroma of raw mango, and freshly roasted jeera, as I always mention My mom would do things from scratch every single time.
Now My kids Si, and Chi carry two large bottles full of cold water, and when they reach back from school, a cool home is waiting for them, but the mother in me does what my mom used to do…Be ready with my large jug of aam panna, and in no time kids grab their share and finish it all…..
Aam panna finds its mention in the Ayurvedic texts as a great thirst-quenching dish and is made to alter the properties of raw mangoes, which on cooking and addition of some spices become great to curb heat.
This drink has found its way to the menus of many cafes and restaurants with panache but sadly they use bottled versions…..Readymade ka zamaana hey ….(It’s all about quick and readymade)
As far an authentic aam Panna recipe is concerned, there is none, as it is a versatile drink and one can add to it their own touch….some like it sweet, others like it tangy, some like it spicy, others like it mild…
My version is very time-driven, where the day fresh mint comes from my kitchen garden, I pull out the raw mangoes, from my vegetable basket…., roasted jeera from the spice rack…….and like a paranoid urban mom, no sugar……Oh don’t exclaim, not that I make my kids gulp a sour drink……I use jaggery in my panna…..though it makes it look a bit ugly brown in colour, but who cares as long as it tastes good and is healthy too….. I do not experiment much with the kids as this is how they like it and happily have it..