As summer manifests itself in all its glory in India and all of us look for avenues to beat the heat, a ‘must- have’ drink in this part of the world is ‘Panha’. Known by various names – Kairee Panha or Panhe, Aam-Panna, etc – this drink is also made with subtle variations across regions and households. The recipe below is my mom’s and is something you absolutely CANNOT afford to miss making during these hot summer months.
Combined with Aamba Daal, this makes a great summer evening high tea menu or even a light meal.
- Raw Mango or Kairee (Big) – 1
- Jaggery – same volume as the Raw Mango (see recipe below)
- Salt – to taste
- Cardamom (Elaichi or velchi) powder – a pinch
- Nutmeg (Jaiphal) powder – a pinch
Wash the raw mango and pressure cook it (without adding any water). After it cools down, break it open and take out all the raw mango pulp. Measure the volume of pulp and add the same volume of jaggery to it. Blend well and set this mix aside for an hour or so. This lets the jaggery soak properly in the pulp and melt a bit.
Then add salt to taste, and the cardamon & nutmeg powder and mix well – and the base Panha is ready! When you want to make the actual drink, add plain water (just like you would add water to a juice concentrate), top it with ice and serve.
- The panha made as above is very thick and lumpy – and needs to be stirred quite a bit when making it into a drink. So some folks run the mix in a mixie with half a cup of water so it blends well and is smooth. You can try doing that.
- The panha as above does not ‘stay’ for more than a day or so, even in a refrigerator. To ensure it lasts for a week or so, boil the mix slightly – that is, just till the first set of bubbles start. Do NOT do a full-fledged boil. And remember to keep stirring the mix as you bring it to a boil.
So go on..take on the summer with Panha!