Mango Amras or Panna, A Sweet & Sour Side Dish or Soup
Amras or Aam-ras
The word 'amras' or 'aamras' is a combination of two Hindi words, am/aam (mango) and ras (juice). It is not really mango juice, a dish made by cooking raw mangoes in water with some spices, salt and sugar. You can make it with either raw, green mangoes or semi-ripe mangoes. In our family, it was always made from small or medium sized wind-fall mangoes called 'ambies' or 'ambias' in Hindi. Pickling mangoes also give very good results. You can use any of the hundreds of mango varieties. It is supposed to be good for protecting one from heat strokes, it is often used in India as a 'cooler', because mango season coincides with the hottest summer months.
If you can get it, it is better to use jaggery or gur or brown sugar. You can make it with sugar free sweetener for diabetics. Serves 6-8
To serve it as a hot and sour drink, blend it and keep it thin. If you add water, you may need to adjust seasoning.
6 small or 2 large mangoes, raw, green mangoes
1 tsp. ghee or oil
1 full tsp. cumin seeds or jeera
A pinch of asafoetida powder or hing/
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
1/2 tsp. chilli powder, adjust to taste
Sugar to taste (2-4 tbsp or as needed); amount of sugar needs to be adjusted according to how tart/sour your mangoes are and how sweet you like it. The end result should be sweet & sour and chilli hot.
A small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped or roughly crushed. fresh are best, but you can use dry ones, if that is all you have.
Wash mangoes to free them of resin from the stalk end. This resin is quite an irritant to the skin and mouth.
Peel mangoes and take off as much pulp as you can from the Mangoes. You can leave a little on the stones, because mango flesh eaten straight off the stone is quite delicious!
Heat ghee or oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and asafoetida, wait until seeds crackle.
Add Mangoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt and sufficient water to cover the mangoes.
Cook until mango pieces are soft.
Add jaggery/sugar and stir to mix.
Taste and adjust seasoning and sweetness at this stage. Add more sugar if it is too tart for your taste.
Pour while still hot in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped/crushed mint leaves, and cover. This will allow the mint to release its aroma.
Serve hot or cold, with Dal, Boiled Rice and Chapatties or as a soup, with small pieces of nan/pitta bread. You can even serve it even chilled, as a drink, just blend for a few seconds to make it smooth.
Also see Soup Selection.
Another similar dish that is served as a drink is Mango Panna.