The most preferred drink is ‘kairicha panna’ which cools the body

Maharashtrian cuisine comprises a selection of diverse delicacies that includes a lot of coconut milk, jaggery, assorted vegetables and fish. The extensive usage of coconut milk, jaggery and sour-berry, commonly known as kokum, in their food offer a combined taste of sour and sweet.

With the onset of summer, Maharashtrian women get busy making a range of interesting dishes using both raw and ripe mangoes. Among a host of delectable preparations, ‘Amrakhand’, ‘ambawadi’, ‘aamras’, ‘kairicha dal’, ‘kairicha loncha’ (mango pickle) and ‘kairicha panna’ were made and some of these can be stored in refrigerator for a period ranging from three months to one year.

The culinary style of the Maharashtrians is mostly steamed. However, cooking in each part of the State is influenced by what is popularly grown in that particular area. Some use peanuts liberally while others use a lot of cashews in their dishes. For those who live in Coastal Maharashtra, coconut forms an indispensable ingredient in their cooking, said an elderly Maharashtrian Vidya Lakshman Saple. “Our regular main course involves dal, chawal, roti, subzi, koshambir (salad), pickle, papad and curd. But during summer we include a lot of mango-based dishes in our food. Among all, the most preferred drink is ‘kairicha panna’ as it not only tastes delicious but also cools your body,” she said.

‘Ambawadi’ (halwa made of one cup of aplhonso mango pulp and two cups of sugar) can be stored for two months. “If you are little innovative, you can try similar preparation with pineapple, papaya, guava, pumpkin and potato too.

It will be tough for the children to make out the ingredient used under the disguise of the sweet, explains Anjali, a Maharashtrian plastic surgeon settled here. Recipe of ‘kairicha panna’ Ingredients: Raw mangoes 2, grated jaggery 250 gms, salt one by two tsp, cardamom powder 1 tsp, nutmeg powder 1 tsp and pepper one by four tsp (optional).

Boil mangoes in the cooker. Once it is cool, peel it. Blend the pulp adding all other ingredients in a mixer and store it in deep-freezer. The lip-smacking ‘panna’ can be relished by adding two teaspoons of the preparation to a glass of cold water.

The pulp of alphonso mangoes can be stored for more than a year.

Preparation: Peel the mangoes and take out the pulp. Place it in a large container (to avoid spilling) on a low flame.

Pour in the pulp and keep stirring for half an hour to 45 minutes until the pulp leaves the sides of the vessel and becomes thick. Allow it cool before storing in the deep- freezer.

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