Monday, May 16, 2011

mangoes , mint and my sweet n tangy summer noons...


 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 have never tasted craisins but i have a feeling that they might work fine for this recipe as the juice of cranberries we get here tastes enough tangy for such mingling with mangoes... Try that if you wish and let me know how it worked for you.

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...

This is very easy to make , just take some mint leaves and pack them in the smallest jar of your mixie or food processor . Add  sugar and grind to paste without adding any water . It will be a crumbly paste which can be stored in the fridge for a month . A mint and sugar ratio of 2:1 works fine but you can make it as you like.


I make another sweet and tangy treat fro 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....My picture of aam panna posted earlier was lifted by Times Of India once and i felt annoyed at that instance . Now when i clicked these pictures of aam panna , i thought they should have a chance to lift some better pictures this time :)

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.

14 comments:

  1. where did you get phalsa. it been ages since I tasted these. love the salad.

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  2. yummy yummy anything with mangoes .. my favourite fruit the only thing i wish it is not this expensive here

    and also i jsut put on another blog that all who blog on mangoes and make me drool will need to courier me mangoes :)

    Bikram's

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  3. o wow, this looks so tempting........... :) I have not seen phalsa berries around this place or may be I don't recognize them :-P With or without these berries am going to try this salad and drink for sure........... Wud definitely share my experience with u ;-) Btw, sarson and besan roti combo was amazing, I still have the taste of saag lingering in my mouth :)

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  4. @ Sayantani...Phalsa is available almost in all the north Indian cities i guess , but not in the stores , you have to look for the khomcha walas around the market places.

    @ Bikramjit ...You get good quality mangoes in UK too .

    @ Puja...I told you about this besan ki roti , it has been ages i had that.

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  5. Cool recipes, hot shots :)

    Love each one of these amazing photographs and love the colourful salad (will try it with whatever ingredients are available) and the cool green panna - my fav every summer.

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  6. wow, what a great looking salad and aam panna is my favorite drink in summer :)

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  7. @ IHM... looking at these hot shots makes me drool too , more because my taste buds know what it is :)

    @ Priya...aam panna is really a crowd pleaser ..

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  8. yeah we get VERY good quality mangoes but I will have t take a MORTGAGE to buy them .. do you know how expensive they are .. put it this way If I can get ONE MANGOe for less then a POUND I buy a dozen.. Mille to..

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  9. @ Bikram..it really is very costly the think of buying a whole dozenre . But i guess food has become so much more costly here too in the last two years , mangoes or any fruit if comes for more than 150 Rs a kilo it gives a pain and a pinch to buy them . A friend told me she buys one baingan for a pound so i guess mangoes there are not much costly by that standard :)

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  10. ohh some serious typo....some parts of sentence swapped places :)...
    But you get my point :)

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  11. I can't wait to try this mint sugar in Aam ka panna which is my staple drink too during summers.Mint should tast really good in panna and sugar too can be added according to individual taste. Right now I add the sugar while I blend the boiled mango pulp. The mango salad with mint and phalse looks good too.
    Nice photographs and what beautiful runners!!! esp the crochet one :)

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  12. Thank you Amrita ...the runner is crocheted by yours truly and this is a 11 year old one , much used , faded but still loved ....your appreciation made my day.

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