I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately. There’s too much going on at once and I feel I’ve lost all creative abilities. The scorching heat isn’t helping in any way, and if I’m not stressing about work or something or other, I am just hot and annoyed. Today, however, I decided to go to a market I have not been to in a while, and that’s where I found something to make the day look better.

Raw mangoes

Kairi. Raw mangoes. Decidedly sour yet fragrant. Deep green. Beckoning. One whiff, and I was transported to Khanapur. I bought a couple and rushed home. Sat in a corner cradling them in my palms and felt as if the memories of a long time ago were giving me the strength to go on and look at the bright side. I wondered what I should do with them–keep them for a curry, pickle them, make a chutney? Just then, I happened to glance at a lonely glass sitting on the counter top. It had to be Kairi Panhe–it was a sign!

Kairi Panhe is the Maharashtrian equivalent of the Aam Panna–a refreshing combination of cooked raw mangoes, jaggery, and sweet spices that can not just cool you on a hot, hot Mumbai day but also make for an excellent cocktail base. Nothing delights me as much as seasonal produce, and today, I thank it for giving me energy–literally and figuratively.

Kairi Panhe | Aam Panne | Raw Mango Cordial

Kairi Panhe

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized raw mangoes (or 1 cup cooked raw mango pulp)
  • 3/4 cup grated jaggery or raw sugar (more or less depending on the sourness of the mango and your liking)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large pinch of green cardamom powder
  • 1 large pinch of saffron

Method:

  1. Cook the whole mangoes, skin and all, in a pressure cooker or pot with enough water until soft.
  2. Peel the mangoes and squeeze out the pulp, discarding the skin and stone.
  3. Place the mango puree and all other ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  4. Decant into a sterilised bottle and refrigerate for up to a week.
  5. To serve, place 2 tablespoons of the concentrate in a glass and fill with cold water, a few mint leaves if liked, and a couple of ice cubes. A dash of vodka or white rum is excellent with this!