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Aam panna, a refreshing tart drink made with green mangos.
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5 from 16 votes

Aam Panna

A refreshing drink made with green, unripened mangos, jaggery (or brown sugar), salt and spices, aam panna is a very popular drink in India to beat the heat.
Prep Time20 mins
Softening the unripe mangos, takes an additional 8 - 60 minutes, depending on the method you use.1 hr
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: aam panna, mango drink
Servings: 3 cups of aam panna concentrate

Ingredients

  • 3 medium green, unripe mangos
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 16 cups ice water
  • lemon juice, as needed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint

Instructions

  • Place the mangos, unpeeled, into a large pot of water. They don't need to be submerged. Lightly boil the water until the mangos are soft. A skewer should be able to be inserted into the mangos very easily. Depending on the hardness of your mangos, this can take up to 1 hour.
  • When completely softened, remove the mangos from the water to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the peels using a sharp knife. They should come off easily.
  • Slice the mango fruit away from the center stone in chunks, and purée in a blender. Using either 3 medium mangos or 2 large mangos yields about 2 cups of mango purée. Add the brown sugar, cardamom, black salt and ground pepper to create the aam panna concentrate.
  • Stir the concentrate into water by the tablespoon. I use 2 - 3 tablespoons for every 8 ounces of water, but it's personal preference.
  • Taste, and adjust for tartness with lemon juice.
  • Muddle the mint using a mortar and pestle. I use 4 mint leaves per glass that I'm serving. Add the mint to each glass, ice cubes, and pour the aam panna over it all.

Notes

Traditional aam panna uses jaggery as the sweetener. This recipe uses brown sugar. To achieve the same sweetness, you'll need 2 cups jaggery, assuming the mango fruit is a pale green. Because there can be a range of tartness to an unripe mango, I recommend starting with less, and adding more as you taste it.

How to Soften Green Mangoes (Raw Mangoes)

Green, unripened mangoes are very firm, and need to be softened for this drink. The goal is to be able to puree the mango to a sauce-like consistency. There are a few ways to do this.
  1. Place whole mangoes in a large pot of water and lightly boil until softened, about 1 hour. This is the method I used. Some do this with unpeeled mangoes, as I did, or they peel them first using a sharp knife.
  2. Boil whole mangoes in a microwave-safe bowl plus water until softened, about 10 - 15 minutes.
  3. Cook them in a pressure cooker for 6 - 8 minutes.
  4. Roast the mangoes over a flame, such as a grill. This gives the drink a slightly smoky flavor.

Variations to Aam Panna

As with many Indian recipes, the recipe can change from home to home in India. Roasted cumin, for example, is a very popular spice to use. But I'm not a gigantic fan of cumin, and used cardamom instead. Some homes use mint, others do not.
What doesn't change is the tangy flavor it gets from the raw (unripened) mangoes, sugar and salt.
It's difficult to find mangoes in the United States that are truly raw mangoes. Even when you peel them, the fruit may be a pale yellow in color. As you can see in the above photo, even though the mangoes I found were completely green, the pulp on 2 of them was a pale yellow.
If that's your experience, you may need to add lemon juice to achieve the hallmark tangy flavor of green mango. I also experimented with lime juice, but lemon juice was much better.