Mangoes and mint is my summer time staple... The garden looks parched and scorched no matter how much i water in the morning, but there is one little comfort i am getting. Most of my herbs are behaving like cool angels .
Mint is flourishing and so is celery. I need both of you my darlings, keep smiling at me :) Summers will be so much more difficult without you.
My cooling salads and drinks make the summer noons more tangy with just a hint of sweetness. These ripe mangoes were tangier than my expectation and a sweet n tangy salad is what it called for...as it has been my favorite since long. And it doubles up as a dessert too... sweet raisins and tangy phalsa berries bring the mangoes to life ...with cooling green mint.
Just cube the mangoes, sprinkle some sugar if they are too tangy, some kala namak (black rock salt) chopped mint leaves and add a handful of phalsa berries. I can't suggest a substitute to phalsa here as i have tried this salad with strawberries and jamuns but the taste and texture in this combination is just heavenly. So try and find some phalsas if you are intending to get these flavors. Toss everything together and serve cold ... Apart from the tanginess , phalsas provide a nice textural quality to this salad, the use of raisins makes it richer that way... You may like phalse ka sharbat too...
I make a mint sugar to flavor my drinks and salads in the summer and that can also be added to this ripe mango salad if you have it ready in your fridge...
I make another sweet and tangy treat for summer noons. Aam ka panna is a perennial favorite and these days i have a jug of cooked raw mango pulp too ready in the fridge. Peeled and sliced raw mangoes boiled with some water in pressure cooker, blended like thick soup and kept in the fridge. Keeps well for a week. Two tbsp of this pulp with a tsp of mint sugar and a dash of kaala namak (black rock salt) for a tall mug or glass of water. A super cooling natural drink is ready instantly.
Other spices like roasted cumin powder can also be added to aam panna. Some people like a lot of chaat masala in it but i like this simple version more. Lightly sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners (wait for my super cool variants of aam panna), a dash of kaala namak and i am sorted.
I like my aam panna with all the pulp floating around like you can see in the picture. If you want a smooth texture it is advisable to strain the pulp before storing it.
Use real ingredients for that rich flavor , preservative free and simple to stir up ...just like any other bottled concentrate .
Make it fresh....and enjoy.