I am currently experiencing a Mango Mania. I think ,talk ,eat ,breathe Mangoes. And this is the case inspite of the fact that I am in UK not in India. So you can imagine the level of my Mania when I am in India. Why only me , I think everybody in India and particularly from Maharashtra (that's the state I come from) is happily in the clutches of this Mango Mania in the months of April and May. The Alphonso Mango or Haapus Aamba ,which is rightfully called the King of Mangoes makes a very royal entry in the markets at this time of the year and it is THE fruit to be enjoyed. Forget the bananas,apples and all other ordinary fruit. Enjoy Haapus while it is available in tonnes. It is the Pride of Maharashtra. It's this Haapus that makes even the hottest of summer days bearable.
In my parents house and at my in-laws too Haapus is always bought in huge boxes. This box is called a Peti and one peti contains approx 5 dozen mangoes . One peti is followed by the next in quick succession and the next one is bought before the earlier one is completely polished off. You can't risk getting withdrawal symptoms, can you? Yeah and you do need to buy them in large quantities when you are practically surviving on them. What I mean by this is:
- At Breakfast we have them just sliced or cubed and sprinkled generously over cereal.
- At Lunch we have Aamras , which is fresh mango pulp with our chapatis or puris if it's a special occasion. Not a single day passes without this for lunch.
- At teatime we either have it simply sliced or have chilled Kairicha Panha which is a heavenly juice drink made from raw mangoes which I am going to share with you now
- At Dinner the rules are same as Lunch. Aamras is a must.
- And last but definitely not the least have a thick Mango Milkshake as a nightcap and you are aassured of a great night's sleep.
In addition to this there are other peripherals that are equally delectable like mango pickle, mango jam, mango lassi, and of course fresh mango icecream. Have I forgotten any item? Feel free to remind me of it. So do you also experience the Mango Mania and behave similarly? I would love to know.
So what I have for you today is Kairicha Panha. It's a sweet and tart drink made from raw mangoes. An excellent coolant and the best welcome drink any guest would love to have.
Ingredients to make approx 10 glasses of Panha:
1 large green raw mango (when buying raw mangoes always go for the firm ones),
At least 20 tspns of sugar,
10 to 12 glasses of cold water,
2 to 3 tspns salt,
a generous pinch of saffron,
pulp of 1 ripe alphonso mango (optional)
Peel and cook the raw mango in a pressure cooker or in a large open saucepan till soft and pulpy,
Remove all the pulp from the stone after the mango has cooled a bit
Add one glass of water and the pulp of one ripe alphonso mango to it and give it a wizz with a hand blender or in an ordinary blender to make it smooth,
Next add the rest of the water , sugar and salt and stir until completely dissolved. Lastly add the saffron. Give it a taste. Quantity of sugar depends on how sour the mango is. So adjust accordingly. Also increase the quantity of water if you want a thinner consistency. Chill thoroughly before serving.
Go on enjoy your summer now.