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This Definitive Aam Panna Recipe Is The Key To Summer Delights

How To Make Aam Panna, The Recipe of Summer Delight

Before the season of sweet and luxurious mangoes makes its welcome appearance, there begins a slight shift from cooler climes to warmer temperatures that herald your pre-summer months. This is the time when mangoes are yet to ripen fully but what is available in abundance is the tangy, green raw mango with its sharply tart and acidic notes. So, when the temperatures rise and you begin to sweat profusely with the afternoon sun bearing down on you, a true saviour emerges in the form of the aam panna, or the refreshing drink prepared from raw mangoes, which helps you to beat the sweltering heat.

The preparation for aam panna can begin in these early summer months before the warm season marches in full swing. It is the time to collect green mangoes of all varieties and mix their fresh and sour notes with plenty of sugar or jaggery and some cardamom and saffron to prepare the panna and stock your refrigerator with this hydrating cooler. The drink is perhaps one of the oldest concoctions prepared in the Indian subcontinent and has a very rich history, as vibrant as its sweet and sour flavours.

Aam Panna: A Look Back

Folklore surrounding the aam panna traces the drink back to the Mughal era where it is said to have emerged from Babur’s or even Akbar’s kitchen but experts say that the panna has a history that dates even further back in time. According to an essay on CN Traveller, Pushpesh Pant, an Indian academic and historian maintains that the aam panna was an oral rehydration solution devised many centuries ago, whose traces can be found in ancient Ayurvedic literature. In fact, one can find mention of the aam panna in the writings of the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa who is believed to have been around in the 4th or 5th century.

How To Make Aam Panna, The Recipe of Summer Delight

The word panna, it is said, is derived from the Sanskrit word paaniya which loosely translated means something that one can drink. In India, the mango has been cultivated for over 2000 years which means that it is quite possible that the panna, a drink prepared from raw mangoes – with the addition of cumin and black salt – was being prepared as a hydrating elixir during summers long before the advent of the Mughals. However, in Mughal kitchens, the drink did enjoy immense popularity and there are many passing mentions of the aam panna in several texts of the time including the Ain-e-Akbari, the 16th-century record of Akbar’s court and even Baburnama, the memoirs of Babur.

Over time, the aam panna has become so popular that every region has its own distinct way of making this drink. An essay on Moneycontrol explains that in West Bengal, it is called aam pora’r and is prepared by mixing raw mango with bhaja moshla, whereas in Uttar Pradesh the panna is called aam jhora and is prepared with fennel seeds. One of the most popular variations is the kairi panna with origins in Maharashtra and Gujarat, a drink laced with sugar and lots of indulgent spices.

Whatever its origins and variations, the drink is sheer sweet and sour nectar during the summers and is best enjoyed when served cold. You can prepare large batches of the aam panna or stock your fridge with panna syrup so you can add cool water to it to quickly prepare a jug of the drink when guests come over.

How To Make Aam Panna, The Recipe of Summer Delight

Read on below for a quick recipe to prepare the aam panna as the mango season approaches:


2-3 medium sized raw mangoes

½ cup sugar or melted jaggery

½ tbsp cardamom

½ tbsp black salt

Few strands of saffron


1. Cut the raw mangoes into large chunks and combine with 1½ cups of water. Put this mix in a pressure cooker and cook until you hear 4 whistles.

2. Add saffron to 1 tbsp of water and keep aside for its colour and essence to steep into the water.

3. Once the raw mango is cooked, let it cool before peeling the skin off and removing the pulp.

4. Blend the pulp and sugar or jaggery in the blender until the mixture acquires a smooth texture.

5. Add the saffron water mixture, cardamom and black salt before adding 3 to 4 cups of chilled water. Mix well and garnish with a mint leaf. Aam panna is now ready to be savoured.


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