Friday, May 18, 2007

Quencher ur thirst with Panha

Its now warm, sunny and bright here. Sometimes its very hot as well. On a sunny day you would want sit in your Patio on a comfortable chair with an interesting book and a cool drink in your hand. The choice of the drink will vary from person to person but everyone will unanimously agree that "panha"/ raw Mango squash is an excellent choice. So my today post is to quencher your thirst with Panha. This is my entry to Nupur's (of One Hot Stove ) A-Z of Indian vegetables. For me Q is Quencher. This is also quick and quencher.
As a child I had seen the huge mango trees in our orchard bloom with thousands of mangoes. These mangoes would been Savoured everyday. For goans "Amras " is not a delicacy at all. I first tasted amaras only after i got married. I am not fond of it. I prefer to eat it as freshly cut fruit. I love raw mango pickle. In every goan ( not call us goanese) household stuffed pickle is a yearly affair. You would cut raw mangoes ( they have to be tender mangoes without the hardened seed) remove the seed and stuff it with a special pickle masala. Ligthly tie a small thin thread. Now pour oil and this can be eaten through out the year. Its simply delicious. Every year my mom makes abt 200 - 500 of the these to be distributed to her Friends, daughter etc.
My Introduction to Panha is also after i came to Pune and from then I am hooked on to this drink. There is a small shop "Joshi's" in aundh who sells one of the best Panha. In the summers I would drop there everyday to buy it.
After coming here i didnt have choice but make it. I had my friend making it and thought i would try it. When I got the mangoes, they were raw but yellowish from inside so the final product looks more like Ripe Mango squash.
Some people make it with jaggery, Some add equal quantities of Sugar and jaggery but i have made it with Sugar only.

Kairi Panha

2 large raw mangoes
4 cups sugar
1/2 tea spoon cardamom powder
a pinch of saffron

Cook Mangoes in the cooker upto 4 whistles (they have to be totally soggy). Since they are soft and soggy the out skin cane peeled easily. gather the pulp together, discard the outer skin and the hard seeds. Blend this in a mixture so that the pulp is of water consistency. Now add all the sugar, cardamom powder. Blend for 2 mins. Remove in a big vessel and dilute this with cold water. Taste and check how thick you would like it. Before Storing in bottles pass it through a sieve.
Incase you prefer to dilute just before serving , just pass through a sieve and store it. Add the saffron strands and store in the fridge.
My friend "A" loved it very much.