Of summer beverages and skipping steps

Summer is here and how! Every day I feel like I’m going to evaporate in this heat. Sigh. As a result, the curd gets set faster, we’re eating more of all the light food and the fruits, oh my God, what do I tell you? With all that yummy variety available I’m at a loss for what to pick. But one of the things that we are doing is consuming a lot of liquids to beat the heat, keep the electrolytes up and generally breeze through summer. Fingers crossed!

Here I’ve got two of the recent beverages I made. One of them, the Tender coconut cooler, can be rustled up in a matter of minutes. The other, Aam Panna, requires some time but once you’ve made the concentrate the rest of the process is a breeze.

I’ve grown up drinking tender coconut water so I didn’t need much convincing about the goodness of it. So one of those days when I came home armed with this, I wanted to do more than just pour it into the glass and sip it. So that’s how the Tender coconut cooler came to be. Try it, it is refreshing and I’m sure you’ll like it too.

Tender Coconut Cooler
2 glasses of Tender coconut water
Juice of 1/2 a lime
5-10 mint leaves
Ice

Tear off the mint leaves and bruise them with the edge of a knife so it begins to release the juices. Place this at the bottom of two glasses. Now add the tender coconut water and the lime juice. Give it a stir. Top it with ice and serve immediately.

The Aam Panna is something that I’ve always relished too but always been a little apprehensive about making it at home because I thought it would be too complicated. To my surprise I found this really easy and even made some modifications to the original recipe I had, which worked in my favour. This version of Aam Panna is simple, uncomplicated and every bit drool-worthy.

Aam Panna

2 medium-sized raw mangoes, washed, de-seeded and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 cup of jaggery, grated
1 tsp of jeera/cumin seeds
2-3 black peppercorns
A couple of saffron strands, mixed in some warm water
Water, as required

Pressure cook the mangoes for two whistles. Allow it to cool down and then puree in the mixie until it forms a smooth pulp. At this stage you can sieve the pulp, a step that I happily skipped.

Now measure the pulp, I got 2 cups and add any sweetener of your choice in the 1:2 ratio, with 2 being the amount of fruit. If you’re adding jaggery you may want to make a syrup an then add, but then again, I skipped this step.

Dry roast the jeera and black peppercorns, coarsely crush them and add to this mixture. Next add the saffron strands too and mix well. Pour the Aam Panna into a clean, dry bottle and store in the fridge. It keeps easily for about 10-15 days.

To serve: Take about 1-2tbsp of the concentrate that we have just made. Add some water to this and mix well. Top it with ice and serve immediately.

* When you buy the tender coconut water, there may also be some of the malai or flesh that’s available. Don’t discard it. You can chop it into tiny pieces and add to the drink.
* I’ve used jaggery in the Aam Panna simply because we love the way it tastes. It makes for a great addition in the beverage and Aam Panna, which is already healthy, gets that extra boost with minerals and iron from the jaggery
* You may have noticed that I’ve not peeled the raw mangoes. This is on purpose. I know for a fact that most of the nutrition lies in the peels so I didn’t have the heart to discard them. You just need to grind them a little more than usual, that’s the only ‘extra’ step

PS: Both these go very well with a shot of vodka or white rum, cheers!

3 Comments

  • Beulah Arun May 12, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Wow!! Wonderful refreshing drinks!

    Reply
  • Renuka May 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  • Unknown May 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Will definitely try stirring up the tender coconut cooler next weekend! 🙂

    Reply

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