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 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.