Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Aam Panna: Raw Mango (kairi) Drink: Indian Summer Cooler

If you have ever been to India during summers you will understand that summers in India are not the sunny, warm and bright like London. Summers in India mean scorching heat, sand storms and sweaty days. The sun used to be so hot that we were not allowed to step outside the house in afternoons. We would either sleep or gang up in the house with friends and cousins and play all sorts of indoor games such as carom, ludo, snack and ladder, dumb charades and what not. Unlike kids today, we did not play artificial games like candy crush saga or temple run. We had active childhood, we wanted to run, jump and play the real energetic games. Oh what days!

May is known as the mango month in India and no matter what my grandfather made sure that we get to relish seasonal mangoes. Raw mango or kacha aam or kairi or ambi was always bought in abundance. All the ladies of the house would sit in the veranda and chopped raw mangoes into wedges; carefully my grandmother would add oil and spices. She then mixed it all with her wrinkly hands and made sure that every piece of mango is coated with spices. Later the pickle was filled into the glass jars and had sun bath. After 15 days we got to eat the most hygienic, tasty and amazing pickle in the world.

When it stroked four in the clock my mom would serve us with all kinds of summer coolers such as massala chaas, lemonade, cold coffee , rose ice tea or anaar ka sharbat. Growing up we never had readymade drinks like coke, canned juice or soda. One summer drink that was must in the May was Aam Panna. Aam Panna is made with raw mangoes or green mangoes and is considered to be a very healthy drink. The ancient Ayurveda and age old wisdom of grandmothers insist on drinking Aam Panna during summers because of its medicinal values.  Raw mangoes have heat-resistant properties and thus this drink is considered as the best option to beat intense summer heat in India.

What is Aam Ka Panna? Aam panna is a refreshing drink made with raw mangoes (kairi) infused with Indian spices and is served chilled. Aam ka panna is also called as Kairi Ka Pani .There is no thumb rule recipe to make this drink and every household makes it in their own way. Some roast the mangoes on the direct heat of hob, some pressure cook and some just boil it in the water. I always use the pressure cooker method, even though I love the roasted procedure. I have electric hob here and thus the whole roasting becomes a  mess :-(. Anyways pressure cooker method is easy and quick. Things that are must in Aam Panna is mint, roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera), black salt (kala namak) and chaat massala. You can either use jaggery (gud) or sugar to balance the sour taste from raw mangoes.

5 small raw mangoes/kairi
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder/bhuna jeera (notes)
1 and 1/2 teaspoon black salt/ kala namak (notes)
1 teaspoon chaat massala (recipe here)
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder/kali mirch
10 mint leaves
4-5 ice cubes to serve

Wash raw mangoes in the running water really well.
Chop raw mangoes in two parts and put in the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water on medium heat for 1 whistle.
When the cooker cools down and pressure is released, open the cooker. Remove the mango seeds and skin. Try to squeeze out as much pulp as possible.
In the mixer or blender, mix mango pulp, sugar, black salt, chaat massala, mint leaves, black pepper and cumin powder. Blend it all for 10 seconds.
Mix 2 glasses of water in the blended pulp and sieve it.
Serve it chilled with ice cubes.

Use 1/4 cup of jiggery instead of sugar.
Take cumin seeds and dry roast it on the pan till you sense the aroma. Grind it into fine powder.
Black salt is pink in colour and is easily available in Indian grocery stores. I used Indian Black Salt.
The raw mangoes I get in the UK are very small in size (you can see in the pictures). You can use 2 large size mangoes.

Serving suggestion:
This makes as a great appetizer drink for summer parties.
Use the leftover in popsicle or kulfi moulds and serve it as lollies.
This is also great to serve with pani puri or gol gappe.
Platter it up with mixed veg kebabs and Mexican potatoeswedges.


  1. yummy... one of my favourite cooling refreshing drinks.

  2. refreshing one,Shweta..nice clear pics too...I just remembered my grand mom too reading through the lines,I loved the mango season in India :)

  3. Addition of mint leaves to aam panna is new to me! We normally add cardamom powder and saffron! This looks absolutely refreshing

    1. Saffron and cardmom in aam panna? No I think you are talking about aamras. Aam panna is tangy drink Gauri, like jaljeer.

  4. my favorite summer drink! I want a glass like right now! And your post made me miss my childhood, those were the days. Seriously how active we used to be, there was no laptop, ipads or play stations..we used to play real games,..summer vacations used to be so much fun!

    1. Thanks Manali. I dont understand whats there in candy crush...:) Kudos to our childhood :)

  5. Your picture with Pani Poori makes me drool, Shweta! It's amazing how mangoes are used in wide preparation in India from sweet and to savory and all delicious! aam-panna is no exception!! yumm!

    1. Thanks Savitaji. :) Totally relish mangoes in summers :)

  6. Nice summer cooling tips..
    I'm following summer diet tips from dietitian plan I do Include this in my diet plan thank you so much for sharing...

  7. Love the pic of the mangoes.. Nice summer drink, looks delicious.


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