Mango, that most luscious, most divine, most celebrated of fruits… oh how I miss mango season!
When markets overflow with the sea of golden-hued fruit and the enticing, heady aroma of mangoes fills the air…You can almost smell mango season before you see it 😀
Mango is an important part of the Indian culture. It is our national fruit after all! The mango motif is very closely related to the Indian paisley motif and the leaves of the mango tree are used in many auspicious ceremonies.
I am utterly crazy about ripe, sweet mangoes, especially the Alphonso and Kesari varieties and can have them at anytime of the day or night and in many, many forms: simply sliced, in milkshakes, ice-creams, kulfis, aamras puri…
But I am also nuts about sour, raw mangoes. Slice them open and sprinkle some salt and chilli powder on them and enjoy the sharp tartness… drool-inducing deliciousness!
As soon as raw mangoes appear, pickling frenzy begins too and the smell of fresh pickling spices is everywhere. These spicy, tongue-tickling pickles are carefully stored, sent to loved ones across the country and cherished at every meal, throughout the year.
Besides pickles, the other summer favorite made with raw mangoes is this fabulous, healthy cooling drink called Aam Panna. Raw mangoes are cooked and then ground with sugar and spices to make a drink that is delicious and nourishing at the same time.
I can’t remember the last time I saw raw mangoes, so when the husband came home one day with some of these green lovelies, I did a happy jig and decided to make some lovely, refreshing aam panna with them.
Generally mint is added to this drink, but I decided to go with Basil, as I just love the flavor of basil in drinks and I must say it was a really delicious combination! The tart mangoes, the hint of spice, the fresh basil, the sweet jaggery…a perfect warm weather drink.
I hope the lovely bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with join me in raising a toast to the golden king of fruits with this wonderful thirst-quencher! Today’s party is being hosted by Justine @ Eclectic odds n sods and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. Can’t wait 😀
Here’s the recipe.
Basil-infused Aam Panna
3 large green, unripe Mangoes
1⁄2 cup grated Jaggery (substitute with brown sugar)
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon Black Salt (Kala Namak; optional)
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground Cardamom
1⁄4 teaspoon ground Cumin
10 Basil leaves
4 cups ice-cold Water
Combine mangoes and 8 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until mangoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer mangoes to a plate.
Chill until cool enough to handle.
Peel, pit, and transfer pulp to a blender. Add basil leaves, jaggery, pepper, black salt, if using, the cardamom, cumin, and ice-cold water.
Purée until smooth and serve in ice-filled glasses, garnished with more basil leaves.