Indian Raw Mango Drinks Traditions With Expert Tips And Recipes
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As the temperatures soar, the craving for summer’s bounty, particularly mangoes, becomes a relatable experience across India. Known locally as ‘kacchi kairi’ or raw mango, this versatile fruit serves as a main ingredient in many households during summer. While raw mangoes may not be the favourite of all, the sumptuous ripe mangoes bring a different level of enjoyment. Both, however, are included in pan-Indian diets and culinary practices for many reasons.

While looking for traditional mango drinks, Slurrp reached out to a number of experts and chefs who shared their regional mango drinks, culinary traditions, how those are prepared, and also a twist to some of them. Food historians, including Pritha Sen, Rana Safvi, renowned chefs like Dr Avin Thaliath, Chef Avinash Martin, and Chef Regi Mathew, share a glimpse of various mango-based drinks from different regions of India. From roasting mangoes to boiling them and adding spices for taste enhancement, here’s a list of the various regional mango drinks that help combat the heat while offering numerous health advantages. 

Is it only the taste that makes mango so special? No, there’s more. Studies say that mangoes contain heart-healthy beta-carotene and potassium. Mango fibre aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut, which is important in summer when digestive issues are common. Mangoes' antioxidants fight free radicals and protect the skin, lowering cancer risk.

Tropical Refreshment: Mango Drinks to Quench Your Summer Thirst

Aam Pora Shorbot, Holding To The Essence Of Bengal

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Not a single household in Bengal spends the summer without Aam pora shorbot. Be it dealing with heat rashes on the skin or indigestion, this quintessential drink is a one-stop solution to all.

For a traditional Bengali aam pora shorbot, raw mango is the key ingredient. This summer beverage is made with uncooked, roasted green mangoes. Smoky in taste, this shorbot is comparable to the aam panna of North India. To prepare this, the raw mangoes are conventionally roasted over coal. Gas-roasting them is also effective. In short, it’s a flavourful fusion of sour, sweet, and smoked green mangoes, jaggery or sugar, salt, chaat masala, jeera and black pepper.

This shorbot is healthy because raw mangoes are high in fibre and antioxidants. Due to their digestive properties, jeera and black pepper boost their nutritional value. To make this drink healthier, reduce the sugar or replace it with honey. In fact, for an intense flavour, one can add fresh green chillis instead of black pepper.

Also Read: 8 Hacks To Prevent Dosa Batter From Turning Sour During Summers

While talking to Pritha Sen, the Bengali food historian, she mentions, “Green mangoes are roasted in Bengal, whereas the North Indians boil them. This difference in techniques affects the taste of the mango. The Aam Pora shorbot, made in Bengal with sugar and black salt, can help one stay protected from skin infections, indigestion, and other summer ailments.”

Aam Panna/ Aam Jhora, The North-Indian Magic

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Aam Panna, also known as Aam Jhora or Panha, is an Indian drink made from unripe mangoes. It is often greenened with mint leaves. Aam means “mango” in Hindi, and Panna means “tangy drink.” Aam ka Panna is a tangy mango drink. Aam panna is popular in Northern and Western India during hot summers. The process is quite simple. A homemade green mango syrup concentrate, warming cumin, herbaceous cardamom, and sulphurous black salt (kala namak), and water make this vegan and gluten-free summer drink delicious. These ground spices and black salt enhance the flavour and aid the digestion of this delicious drink. Water is used to soften and pulp mangoes. Steam, boil, or pressure-cook mangoes. After removing the pulp, sugar, spices, and salt are added. This boiling method for aam panna is popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 

Rana Safvi, Awadh food historian, speaks about the North Indian regional green mango drink to beat the heat. She mentions, “It’s aam panna that is made regularly during Summer to keep us cool and prevent heat strokes.” 

Mambazha Kulukki Sharbeth, Originating From Calicut

Image Credit: Chef Regi Mathew

Mambazha Kulukki Sharbeth is a traditional mango beverage hailing from Calicut, known for its tantalising blend of ripe Alphonso mangoes, fiery green chilli, and zesty ginger. Enhanced with basil seeds and a hint of lemon, it offers a refreshing burst of flavours, making it a beloved street-side delicacy in its place of origin. Chef Regi Mathrew shared his unique recipe with Slurrp.  The process is simple yet needs attention to detail. Begin by blending 100 grams of sweet Alphonso mangoes until smooth. Muddle a single green chilli, 10 gms of ginger, and three lemon slices in a cocktail shaker. Add 01 tsp of basil seeds, along with 40gms of sugar, and 05gms of salt. Shake vigorously, then pour into a glass filled with ice cubes. Finally, crown this zesty elixir with 100ml of soda for a truly invigorating experience.

Appekayi Saaru: Bringing The Essence Of South

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South India comes with some mind-boggling mango drinks that will fascinate any foodie. Appekayi saaru is a spicy beverage prepared using raw mangoes, which is extremely simple yet flavoured. This mango saaru is served as a soup or beverage in between meals. The word "appe" is derived from the Kannada language, where "appekayi" means 'to roast' or 'to cook on a griddle.' Dr Avin Thaliath from Lavonne Academy shares the recipe of Appekayi saaru with very limited ingredients. “Over the years, this dish has evolved, with each region adding its own unique touch to the recipe. This Malnad-style mango saaru is tangy, spicy and filled with asafoetida and mango flavour.”, he mentions. So, what makes this drink more special? 

Avin further mentions, “Generally, on special occasions, it is prepared and is served in between a multi-course meal. It's a good appetiser, it aids digestion, and everyone loves to drink this spicy saaru. This is the most delicious and healthy drink savoured during the mango season in summer. The raw mango, which is very rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, prevents the excessive loss of water from the body and also helps to quench the thirst.”

For Slurrp, he also handed us the recipe for a perfect Appekayi saaru. Peel and chop a big raw mango, slit green chillies. Cook with salt and water until soft. Grind into a paste, add water, and bring to a boil. Temper with oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, and curry leaves. Garnish with coriander. Adjust jaggery and chillies based on the mango's sourness. This Appekayi Saaru recipe offers a tangy, spicy delight in just 20 minutes of cooking time.

Also Read: Raw Mango Juice Recipe For A Perfect Cool Drink This Summer

Mamidikaya Panakam from Andhra

Raw Mango Panagam, also known as Mamidikaya Panakam, is a cherished summer cooler deeply rooted in tradition, often prepared during Sri Rama Navami festivities as an offering to Lord Rama. Crafted from raw mangoes and jaggery, it offers a delightful blend of tangy and sweet flavours. Infused with spices like dry ginger, and cardamom, and the aromatic touch of edible camphor, it not only tantalises the taste buds but also aids digestion, making it a refreshing post-meal indulgence, especially during festive occasions and gatherings.

Appe Midi Thambuli: A Traditional Raw Mango Drink From Karnataka

Put washed mangoes, ½ cup grated coconut, and buttermilk in a blender. Make a fine paste. Mix the ground mixture with a glass of buttermilk in a bowl. Mix the tempering into the ground mixture.

Also Read: Unniyappam: Cultural Significance And History Of Kerala-Based Sweet Dish

Mankurad Mangoes of Goa Created A Revised Version of Jugo de mango

Image Credit: Chef Avinash Martin

Goa also comes with a variation of mango drinks that date back to ancient times. Originating in the 16th century from the Portuguese word manga, Jugo de mango is a traditional drink from that country. It later became a Goanese version with mankurad mangoes from Goa. As Chef Avinash Martin states, “Inspired by the mankurad mangoes of Goa, this drink is a dessert cocktail meant to be had post ones meal. Our cocktail is a twist on the original recipe, where we make use of seasonal mankurad mango pulp with cashew feni, citrus and aquafava (a vegan foamer). The uniqueness of this drink comes from its garnish, which is bruléed sugar, which adds both flavour and aesthetic.”

Mango Lassi and Mango Thandai: A Twist on North-Indian Tradition

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Though not so much of a traditional drink, Mango Lassi and Mango Thandai, these two have been around for years. A favourite in North India, Mango Lassi is made by mixing yoghurt with ripe mangoes to make a creamy drink. When you add a hint of lemon and mint to this popular drink, it not only tastes better, but it also becomes more refreshing. Whether you consider it for breakfast or as a cool snack in the evening, Mango Lassi is a meal in and of itself.

Adding mango pulp to thandai changes the traditional drink known for cooling people down. These tasty ingredients make the drink taste better and also look better. Mango Thandai combines the cooling effects of the traditional ingredients with the sweet, fruity taste of mango, making it a great choice for getting rid of the heat of summer.

Natural hydration makes mango drinks ideal for summer. Their high water content replenishes sweat-lost fluids. Vitamins A and C in mangoes boost immunity and skin health. These drinks are essential in summer because mangoes add flavour and health benefits. The health benefits and heat relief of mango-based drinks are essential in every Indian summer household.