Aam Pana, also known as aam-pora sharbat is a charred green-mango cooler that is a life-saver during the excruciating summers of Bengal. Called "aam panna" in Hindi, variations of this drink are consumed all over South Asia.
To make a really great aam pora sharbat, you must burn the mango until the skin burns to coal, and the flesh pulls away from the skin. The natural sugars in the unripe mango caramelise, turning the white flesh yellow. That is how you get a deeply smoky, rich aam pana. It is so smoky, in fact, that we skip the bhaja moshla (toasted cumin powder) that is commonly added to this drink. We find that it interferes with the smoky flavour of the charred mango. We did add some green chillies just when chilling the drink. These add a fresh top note, and provide just a hint of heat when you sip the drink.
The second drink, Aam-Pora Margarita, A.K.A. charred mango margarita, is our take on the classic margarita (although we are pretty sure lots of people have done this before). The sour element in the margarita is the charred mango pulp. This can be made with both blanco or reposado tequila, and would in fact be even better with mezcal. In this drink, we replace the black salt with regular salt because we find that the sulphurous smell of black salt does not go well with tequila. Plain salt produces a cleaner more crisp drink.
We serve the margarita up, but it can just as easily be served on ice to lengthen the drink. We hope you give these a try!
- 4 green mangoes
For Aamporar Shorbot
- 100 g aampora pulp
- 100 g sugar
- 10 g black salt
- 4 green chillies (slit)
- 1 L water
For the Margarita
- 20 ml aampora pulp
- 60 ml tequila/mezcal
- 15 ml rich syrup (2 parts sugar :1 part water)
- 1 whole green chilli
- 1 pinch salt
- ice for shaking
- Char the green mangoes on open flame (grill, barbecue or stovetop), or under the oven broiler, until the skin has turned crisp and black, and has pulled away from the flesh.
- Once cool, remove the outer coating, and you should be left with the yellow pulp. Remove the central seed, and roughly break up the larger lumps (some are fine; you needn't make it completely smooth).
- Mix together 100 g of the aampora pulp with black salt, sugar and water.
- In a bottle, add slit green chillies, then the drink.
- Set it in the fridge until well chilled. Enjoy cold or over ice!
For the Margarita
- First prepare a rich syrup by heating together 2 parts sugar and 1 part water until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat to allow the sugar to dissolve in residual heat. When cool, store in the fridge.
- When ready to serve, add aampora pulp, tequila/mezcal, rich syrup, salt and green chilli to your shaker.
- Shake with ice and double-strain into a glass. Serve immediately!