Sweet and Sour Summer Drink with Green Mangoes
On a hot summer day, there is nothing quite as refreshing as an ice-cold beverage that hits both sweet and sour notes. There is the basic lemonade and its variants, of course. In the land of perpetual heat and sun that is coastal Maharashtra, in addition to the lemonade, or nimboo pani, there is punhe’.
Punhe’ is a special summer time treat made with unripe green mangoes available only in March and April. Green mangoes are also used as a souring agent like tamarind or lime. I drank punhe’ in copious amounts in my futile attempts to keep cool in the heat of May. Recipe below the fold:
- 2 to 3 cups of water
- 4 unripe, hard as a rock green mangoes, I used Tom Atkins since they are readily available in the grocery store.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- a few strands of saffron if you are feeling particularly indulgent.
- Juice of 2 limes, preferably key limes
Add water to the sauce pan till the mangoes are completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil. If you are adding saffron, add it now. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking till the mangoes are completely cooked through and soft to touch, about fifteen minutes.
Extract all the pulp when cool enough to touch, reserve half the water and discard the pits and the skin.
Mash with a potato masher or use a blender and gradually add the reserved water
Add the salt and sugar to the mashed mango mixture, add the spices
Your concentrate is ready. This will keep in the fridge for two weeks, longer if you keep it in the freezer.
To make individual servings
- 2 tbsp of the concentrate
- 6 oz of water
Taste the mixture, add more salt or sugar if you think the mix needs more, you can even add about 1/4 of a lime if you are a fan of sour things like I am.
Add ice cubes or crushed ice
For a recipe of Mango Lassi, click here.