Aam panna or kairi sharbat is a refreshing drink made from kairi or unripe green mangoes, sugar and spices. It is a popular drink in India and Pakistan and an effective remedy to prevent heat and sunstroke in the summer.
What is kairi / keri / kacha aam?
Kairi, keri or kacha aam is another word for unripe or raw green mangoes in India and Pakistan. Raw green mangoes are eaten as a snack and are a popular ingredient in Indian and Pakistani cooking due to their unique sour flavor.
What is aam panna or kairi sharbat?
Aam panna (also known as kairi sharbat or kairi panha) is a refreshing drink made from unripe or raw green mangoes, sugar and spices. It has a unique tart flavor that comes from the use of unripe green mangoes, and the use of black salt (or kala namak). Kairi is the local word for unripe green mangoes, and aam is the word for mangoes which is why this drink is called kairi panha, kairi sharbat or aam panna interchangeably. It is made in the form of a squash or concentrate, with water and ice-cubes added when serving. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is also an effective remedy to prevent heat and sunstroke in the hot summer months. Raw mangoes are rich in vitamin C and iron, and have cooling properties. The roasted cumin aids in digestion, and the black salt aids in the loss of sodium chloride due to excessive sweating in the summers.
Aam panna / Kairi sharbat – the ingredients:
- Kairi / Unripe green mangoes: Green unripe mangoes are the main ingredient for this drink recipe. They are also known as kairi, keri or kacha aam and are easily available at Indian, Pakistani and Asian grocery stores in season. Kairi / green mangoes start to become available about 1 – 1 ½ months before the mango season. In Pakistan and India, this is around mid-April and in Australia this is around mid-November when it’s the summer season in the Southern hemisphere. The ones available in the Indian sub-continent are smaller, and the ones in Australia were on the larger side. As the season progresses, the kairi / green mangoes will become riper and sweeter. Generally, the more unripe a raw mango is, the more firm and white-ish color flesh it will have. As the raw mango ripens, it will start developing a seed and the flesh will start becoming less firm and turn a pale yellow in colour. The flavor of the raw mango will also be sweeter than tart. If you want a sweeter kairi sharbat, use green mangoes that are on the ripe side, and if you prefer a more tart flavor, then use a less ripe green mango.
- Sugar: This recipe uses white granulated sugar, however, brown sugar or jaggery / gurr can also be used instead. Brown sugar and jaggery or gurr will give a brownish tint to the final sharbat / drink. Depending on the ripeness of the raw mango available, the sugar content may need to be adjusted. If the raw mango available is more tart than sweet, increase the amount of sugar. Sugar acts as a sweetener and also as a preservative.
- Roasted cumin powder: Roasted cumin has this intense aroma and nutty flavor that complements the sweet and tart flavor in the kairi sharbat so well. It’s made by dry roasting cumin seeds, and then grinding them into powder. I prefer to make my own, but it’s also available at Indian and Pakistani grocery stores in the spices section.
- Black salt: Black salt or kala namak is a popular ingredient in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, and is normally sprinkled over sliced fruit or added in fruit chaat, and used in drinks to add a smoky tart flavor to the recipe. It can be purchased from Indian and Pakistani grocery stores, and can also be found in health stores as it has recently gotten popular as an ingredient in vegan cooking. If not available, substitute with half the quantity of regular salt. It’s also possible to use peri peri salt, or tajin seasoning for a Mexican kick to this drink.
- Mint leaves and lemon juice: These two ingredients are optional and are usually added when making the kairi drink from the concentrate. I personally love the flavor of both mint and lemon so I will add a squeeze of lemon, and a few mint leaves as garnish when making a glass of kairi sharbat.
If you are looking for other Pakistani and Indian recipes, check out the following:
- Mango chutney (Nauratan chutney) - this is a sweet and sour chutney made from kairi / green mangoes
- Pakistani salan recipe - the simplest and most versatile curry recipe
- Khageena - (Pakistani scrambled eggs)
- Taheri (Aloo chawal) – Rice and potato pilaf
- Kaali daal or khari masoor ki daal – Black gram lentils curry
- Karhi or Pakora Karhi
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Aam panna | Kairi sharbat | Green mango drink
- ½ kg kairi / keri / unripe green mangoes – see note 1
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon roasted and ground cumin seeds – see note 2
- 1 teaspoon black salt – see note 3
- Lemon for garnish (optional)
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
To make the aam panna / kairi sharbat / green mango drink:
- Peel the kairi / raw green mangoes and place with 1 litre of water in a stainless-steel pot.
- Bring to a boil, and then cook on low simmer till the kairi / raw mango is soft. This will take about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Remove the kairi / raw mangoes and remove as much as pulp as possible, discarding the seed. Blend the kairi / raw mango pulp with water using an immersion blender. Or let the mixture cool, and then blend in a blender.
- Place the blended kairi / raw mango mixture in the stainless-steel pot again, and add sugar.
- Cook on low heat till the sugar dissolves, and the mixture thickens. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and then add the roasted cumin powder along with the black salt. Stir through.
- Let the mixture cool, and then store in the refrigerator in clean bottles. Alternately, the aam panna / kairi sharbat can also be frozen in trays. Once the panna / sharbat is frozen, then the ice cubes can be kept in a ziploc bag.
- Place 2 – 4 tablespoons of the aam panna / kairi sharbat in a glass and add cold water. Top off with ice cubes and serve cold. Start off with 2 tablespoons of concentrate and adjust to personal taste. Mint leaves and/or lemon juice can be added to give a different taste, and for garnish.
- Kairi / keri or kacha aam are easily available in Pakistani, Indian and Asian grocery stores. They start to become available about 1 – 1 ½ month before the mango season. In Pakistan and India, this is around mid-April and in Australia I was able to find them in late October and November which is the summer season down under. As the season progresses, the kairi / green mangoes will become riper and sweeter. If the kairi / green mangoes are on the tart side, adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. In case fresh aren’t available, there are frozen options in the Indian grocery stores.
- Roasted cumin powder: To make roasted cumin powder, dry roast cumin seeds in a small frying pan. Once toasted, grind them into a powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. I prefer to make my own, but it’s also available at Indian and Pakistani grocery stores in the spices section.
- Black salt: Black salt or kala namak can be purchased from Indian and Pakistani grocery stores, and can also be found in health stores as it has recently gotten popular as an ingredient in vegan cooking. If not available, substitute with half the quantity of regular salt.