Aam ka panna
Aam ka panna

Mango is a very versatile fruit. Guess why? This is one fruit that can be used in curries, in salads, in punches, in desserts and in pickles, and it lends a different taste and flavour to every dish! Raw mangoes have many health benefits as they are rich in vitamin C and are natural acidity regulators.

Panna (also known as panha or panhe) is a simple drink made of raw mangoes with a dash of spices to balance the sour taste of mangoes. It makes a wonderful mocktail to be served at parties as it can be made prior to the event, refrigerated and used when needed. Every Summer my refrigerator gets loaded with lime juice and panna. Though it has a long shelf life if refrigerated, I prefer making it in small batches that last for only a day or two. Without refrigeration it will start fermenting by the end of the day. It tastes best chilled and served with cubes of ice with a mint leaf or a piece of mango as a garnish. Panna also means 'emerald' in Hindi - probably one of the reasons why this juice gets its name is its light green colour.

Recipe: Aam ka Panna ~ Raw Mango Drink
Preparation Time : 20 mins, including steaming time
Serves : 8 glasses
Recipe Level: Easy/ Beginner
Recipe/Post by: Sunshinemom

3 Unripe mangoes, steamed till the flesh is well cooked.
1/2 cup Mint leaves1/4 tsp. Pink / Black salt
1.5 tsp. roasted cumin seeds powder
1/2 cup sugar (more to taste, if needed)
1 + 5 cups water

Aam ka panna
Aam ka panna

Method to prepare:
  1. Preparing the mangoes: Cut off the stem end from the mangoes. Wash and make small cross-wise slits at the stem end. Now either pressure cook for one whistle without adding water to the vessel containing the mangoes or steam the mangoes till the skins turn soft and loose. Set aside to cool and then peel of the skin. Squish out the cooked pulp from the seeds with your hands completely. With the blunt edge of a knife remove the pulp from the inside of the skin.
  2. Prepare a syrup with 1 cup of water and sugar heating till the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool.
  3. Blend the pulp, syrup, rest of the water, mint and salt in a blender till smooth. Taste and adjust salt and sugar as per taste. The drink has to be thin. If you feel the need, add a little more water and then adjust sugar and spice to taste. Strain through a muslin cloth or fruit juice strainer.
  4. Roast cumin seeds till they turn dark and aromatic. Crush into a fine powder and add to the strained drink.
  5. Serve chilled over ice if desired.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of ripe mango. Adds a nice colour and makes it attractive.
  7. Before serving stir well as the clear juice will have risen to the top, making it faintly yellow, less fruity and less aromatic.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Mint is optional but desirable.
  • Black salt may be substituted by regular salt with a pinch of chaat masala.
  • Do not leave the drink outside as it will ferment soon.
  • Refrigerate till needed.
  • In the second picture shown above, I added a few slices of ripe mango imparting an orange hue to the drink. Optional but makes it inviting for kids too.

Sending this to Thanda Mela

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    Beetroot is a versatile vegetable and can be used from salads to baking. The color of it pleases our eyes. I love this root veggie in any form but more in the form of juice. You may not like the raw taste of it. In that case, prepare this beet syrup and consume whenever you feel weak.

    The raw beet juice will stimulate your body and mind. Carrot, beets and cucumber juice is a good remedy for allergies.

    “The presence of alkaline content in the raw juices dissolves the deposits accumulated around the joints and other tissues.”
    But don’t over dose yourself. Anything in moderation is good. Always mix it with toher veggies and drink. The pure one may paralyze your vocal chords and increase your heart rate…
    (Source: internet)

    Recipe: Beet Squash
    Cooking Time: 30 minutes
    Shelf life: Squash can be refrigerated for a week
    Recipe by: Viji

    500 gms Beet root
    1 Apple
    3 Oranges
    2 carrots
    400 gms Sugar
    2 tbsp Dry Ginger Powder (available at most Asian grocery stores)

    1. Wash and peel the beet roots.
    2. Extract juicer using juicer. If not through blender and strain it.
    3. The same way extract juice from apple, oranges and carrots.
    4. In a MW proof vessel take the sugar. I used brown sugar.
    5. Add ¼ cup of water and boil till it is slight thick (for 15-20 minutes).
    6. Then add the juice and ginger powder. Boil for another 10 minutes. Let it cool.
    7. Add 2 tbsp of this syrup to one cup of water and drink in the morning. This one is a energy booster.

    For Beet Yoghurt:
    1. Add a tbsp of this syrup with a cup of low fat yoghurt.
    2. Add your favorite fruits and nuts on top of it. A good mid day snack. It is richer than a branded ice creams.

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    First things first... Beyond Curries just turned one ..Yeah !

    Time flies as if it has nothing else to do. It seems just like yesterday, when Sia took the initiative and slowly but surely a team was formed to bring to you all the delicacies of Indian Cuisine. Now after a successful one year of being together, it feels great to be a part of a lovely team as this. In today's world when jealousy and Ego clashes ruins a family, we the team of BC, are proud to be together , sharing recipes with you all, but back stage, we also share our woes and happiness with each other in the team. So here's to our friendship, to Beyondcurries's 1st birthday, and to all the lovely readers of this blog.... Cheers, err, with The Green Lady... A lemony Khus Sherbet!

    Khus sherbet or the sugar syrup made by using the Essence (oil) of the Khus Grass (vetiver) is a well known Ayurvedic /Unani cooler. Khus sherbet, not only have cooling effects on body but also it works as blood purifier and is also helpful in calming the nerves, a good diuretic, and it also reduces the acidity in body.

    Khus or Vetiver Grass, Vetiver, found abundantly in India, is of Asian origin. It gets its name from the Tamil word ‘vetriver’, meaning root. From India it traveled to the West Indies, Fiji and Africa, where a new use was found for it - as a sponge to hold the soil in place and prevent erosion, according to a report by the Academy for Mountain Environics, an NGO based in Dehra Dun, in north India.
    (Source : Pitara.com)

    The oil of khus is amber brown and rather thick. The odor of vetiver oil is described as deep, sweet, woody, smoky, earthy, amber, balsam. The best quality oil is obtained from roots that are 18 to 24 months old. The roots are dug up and cleaned then dried. Before the distillation, the roots are chopped and soaked in water. The distillation process can take up to 18 to 24 hours. After the distillate separates into the essential oil and hydrosol, the oil is skimmed off and allowed to age for a few months to allow some undesirable notes which form during the distillation to dissipate. Like patchouli and sandalwood essential oils, the odor of vetiver develops and improves with aging. The characteristics of the oil can vary significantly depending on where the grass is grown and the climate and soil conditions. The oil distilled in Haiti and RĂ©union has a more floral quality to it and is considered of higher quality than the oil from Java which has a smokier scent. In the north of India, an oil is distilled from wild-growing vetiver. This oil is known as Khus or Khas and is considered superior to the oil obtained from the cultivated variety. It is rarely found outside of India as most of it is consumed within the country.
    (Source: Wiki)

    The Khus sherbet could be enjoyed in variety of ways ranging from simple sherbet, to mixing it with club soda, or lemonade or adding a dash over Icecream, or mixing it with orange or mango juice to make Mocktails.

    To make Khus sherbet, just boil 3 cups of water with 4 cups of sugar. Add freshly squeezed Lemon juice of 1 lemon to remove impurities of sugar if any. Boil till the syrup achieves one thread consistency. Let it cool down, then add about 1-1 1/4 tsp of Khus Essence and mix well. Store this in sterilized bottle. and refrigerate. Commercially available Khus syrup have added Green food colour. You may do so, or just use it without adding any colour.

    Alternatively you can buy a bottled syrup of any well known brand.

    Green Lady, A Lemony Khus Sherbet

    Recipe: Green Lady, A Lemony Khus Sherbet
    Prep Time: 2 minutes
    Makes: 2 Servings
    Serves: 2 People
    Shelf Life: Consume immediately
    Recipe Inspiration/Source: Sanjeev Kapoor
    Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner
    Recipe/Post by: Alka

    4 tbsp of Khus Syrup
    A pinch of salt
    1 tbsp of Lemon Juice
    Crushed ice
    2 Glasses of lemonade
    2 Lemon slices

    1. Mix together Khus syrup, salt and lemon juice.
    2. Add crushed ice and lemonade and stir well.
    3. Pour this into two glasses and garnish with Lemon slice.
    4. Serve chilled.
    Sending this to Indrani's Summer Food and Drinks event

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      Fruit Chaat / Indian Fruit Salad

      Fruit Chaat / Tropical Summer Fruit Salad

      Summer brings with it many beautiful things if one looks beyond the terrible heat waves.

      One thing I really love is the fruits we get during this season. Strawberries, pears, mangoes, bananas, apples, chickoos, grapes and so many more. Strawberries come from cooler places like Mahabaleshwar, a hill station close to Mumbai, grapes come from neighbouring Nashik and mangoes from different regions of Maharashtra. Spring fruits come to us all the way from Himachal and Kashmir but remain fresh thanks to better storage facilities. All this variety is thanks to the Sub-continent's tropical climate and geographical location.

      Fruits being rich in water, minerals and vitamins as well as trace elements provide the right balance during Summer months. I use hapoos or alphonso variety of mangoes as these local delights from Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg regions of Maharashtra are considered the best variety and are available in plenty though a tad more expensive than other varieties, some of which are as good. Substitute any variety that is best available to you. I use chaat masala pounded by my local 'Pandit Bhel Puri Waalah' as he makes the best blend I have had till date. Use this recipe from the 'Indian Food Forever' site to make your own chaat masala blend at home as it comes pretty close to what I used to make.

      Recipe: Tropical Summer Fruit Salad ~ Fruit Chaat
      Preparation Time : 10 mins
      Serves : 3-4
      Recipe Level: Easy/ Beginner
      Recipe/Post by: Sunshinemom

      Ingredients Needed:

      1 cup Ripe firm mango (I used hapoos/alphonso), diced into cubes
      1 cup Apple, diced
      1 Banana (I use elaichi kela, a local variety), sliced thick
      1/2 Kiwi fruit (optional), diced
      1/2 cup green grapes, chopped and de-seeded
      1/4 cup red wine grapes, halved and de-seeded
      1/2 cup chickoo, diced
      Juice of 1/2 a Lemon (optional)
      3-4 strawberries, chopped
      A generous sprinkling of dried Mint leaves (optional but it adds a kick)
      Chaat masala sprinkled as per taste (About 1/8 tsp.)
      Black salt/pink salt /kaala namak - 2 pinches to taste

      Method to prepare:
      • Mix the fruits together with the rest of the ingredients
      • Add lemon juice if you like (I do not like the tang so omit it.)
      • Serve chilled.

      Fruit Chaat / Indian Fruit Salad
      Fruit Chaat / Tropical Summer Fruit Salad

      Special Notes/Tips:

      • Include local fruits as per availability.
      • Musk melon works but water melon dilutes the taste of other fruits.
      • If adding orange, reduce or omit lime juice.
      • Add oregano or thyme instead of chaat masala.
      Sending this to Indrani's Summer Food and Drinks event & Usha's Healthy Inspirations Event - Salads

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        Mixed Fruit Punch Recipe

        Posted by Srivalli | Wednesday, April 07, 2010 | , , , | 5 comments »

        You can't really beat the summer! But you can try by drenching yourself in cool drinks. When we decided we are going to do a month on Refreshing drinks, I was really wondering what I will make. The fact is I hardly ever make a drink other than the usual Lemon Juice or Mango Juice or whatever is the fruit of the season. Those are nothing new right!

        Haling from south, I didn't know much about Lassi or anything made sweet with curds/ yogurt for a long time. Though Curds was very integral part of the Thali. When I finally did get to know about Lassi, I just fell in love with it. I had the most enjoyable time when I tasted the different flavours of lassi in Delhi. I have made Mango Lassi and plain one. I am looking forward to get other ideas.

        Enough of my rambling, reading the title, I am sure you knew it is not a lassi that I am going to talk about. Rather a mixed fruit punch. The other day Athamma was very keen on making a Pineapple Juice but never got around because hubby dear felt one doesn't take pictures of plain pineapple juice. She didn't tell him that she was planning on a punch! Anyway the pineapple got over, the idea was still lingering in her mind. Thinking she will be rebuke, she extracted pulp using a mixed fruit proportion. Wanted me to make a halwa, but seeing the pulp, I got brain wave and remembered the theme. Lo I had my drink in front of me!

        Mixed Fruit Punch

        Recipe: Mixed Fruit Punch | Non-alcoholic Mixed Fruit Punch Recipe
        Preparation Time : 15 mins
        Serves : 3-4
        Recipe Level: Easy/ Beginner
        Recipe/Post by: Srivalli

        Ingredients Needed:

        1 Apple
        1 Banana
        1 Guava
        1 cup Water melon
        1 cup seedless green grapes
        1 cup ruby pomegranate
        Juice of 1 Lemon
        2 - 3 Tsp Honey
        Crushed Mint leaves
        Ice Cubes
        Method to prepare:
        • Pit and clean the fruits. I didn't remove the seeds in guava or pomegranate. But removed from water melon. 
        • Pulse it all together to get a thick pulp. Dilute it to the required consistency and run it again with ice cubes if you prefer cold. 
        • Remove and mix in honey and lemon juice. Just before serving, add in crushed mint leaves.
        • Serve it chilled.

        Special Notes/Tips:
        1. Since the fruits are sweet on their own, you can avoid using sugar. 
        2. With honey I felt it was sweet enough. 
        3. You can retain the apple skin but if you feel it is too thick, sieve the pulp through a bigger colander.
        Sending this to Indrani's Summer Food and Drinks event

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        Summer is almost here in India, which means it's time to have loads of water, juices, salads, juicy and COOLER fruits and veggies like watermelon and Cucumbers respectively!

        Though water is utmost important fluid to be consumed during such weather, it is also necessary to replenish the salt and sugar in the body as these electrolytes are drained out of the body as we sweat and fume in the presence of scorching sun. The so called cold drinks are waste of money and loss of health. The bubbly fizzy drinks are no better. Instead some real coolers like Jaljeera (mint based cooler), sugar cane juice, chaach (buttermilk), Thandai (a heady mixture of milk, almonds, rose petals, poppy seeds etc), Sandalwood Sherbet, Aam paana (Tangy and sweet drink made using unripe mangoes), are healthier and far better options. Do give these a shot !

        This month at Beyond Curries, our team will bring to you some refreshing Refreshments, juices, smoothies, summer salads etc. to make your summers more bearable and fun filled. So fight those summer blues with us this month at Beyond Curries..stay tuned ;-)

        As for recipe of the day, well its one of my most favorite summer cooler, a healthy one, and so yummy...Masala chaach or spiced up buttermilk....the diluted version of Lassi , but a treat to taste buds and your digestive system too ;-)

        The spices could vary as per your taste, and could be totally skipped too, just some rock salt and black pepper powder gives the chaach a wonderful flavor, but if you are the one who are prone to have cough or congestion after consuming curd (dahi) ,then adding ginger and Cumin seeds help to reduce your woes.Have it either way.... it comes packed with whole lots of benefits.


        Recipe: Masala Chaach (Spiced up Buttermilk)
        Prep Time:5 min
        Makes:2 servings
        Shelf Life:Best when consumed immediately, but could be stored at cool place or refrigerated for few hours
        Recipe Level: Basic
        Spice Level: Low
        Recipe/Post by:Alka

        1 cup of fresh curd (dahi)
        1 glass of water (Will require 1 1/2 glass if not using ice)
        Ice cubes (optional )
        A tiny it of ginger (less than 1/2 inch piece, use lesser if you do not like strong flavor)
        1/2 tsp of Cumin seeds
        1-2 pepper corns
        Rock salt (or normal salt) as per taste
        Chaat masala (optional)

        Special Utensils:
        Blender and/ or Mathni (Wooden churns or churners)

        1. If you wish, you can blend all ingredients in a blender till the ingredients blend properly and froth appears at the top, or you can blend all ingredients except curd, with little water, and then churn well the curd with remaining water and ice cubes, then add the blended spices to it, mix well.
        2. Serve with some more ice(optional), garnish with some rock salt/ chaat masala/ black pepper powder etc.

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