In early spring, the first of the season’s unripe mangoes are eagerly anticipated in India. Green, unripe mangoes, with their tart flavor and rich pectins, are used to add tang to all sorts of dishes, from dals to desserts. Here, they are boiled until tender and blended with sweet jaggery, pungent black salt, asafoetida, and other spices in a thirst-quenching north Indian drink. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue.
- 3 large green, unripe mangoes
- 1⁄2 cup grated jaggery or brown sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp. grated kala namak (black salt; optional)
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄8 tsp. asafoetida
- 4 cups ice-cold water
- Combine mangoes and 8 cups water in a 6-qt. saucepan; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until mangoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mangoes to a plate; chill until cool enough to handle. Peel, pit, and transfer pulp to a blender. Add jaggery, pepper, black salt, if using, the cardamom, cumin, asafoetida, and ice-cold water; purée until smooth and serve in ice-filled glasses.