I chose to make this refreshing and thirst quenching drink, Aam Jhora which is very famous in Bihar. Bihar is a state in Northern India and borders Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, West Bengal and Jharkhand. The major river that flows through the state is the Ganges. Bihar has a diverse climate ranging from very hot summers and cool winters. Hindi, Urdu and Maithili are the official languages of the state.
Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because of the influence by Buddhist and Hinduism belief of non violence. Dairy products are consumed throughout the year, with yogurt (dahi) being a very commonly used one. Lot of beverages is consumed during the summer months to cool the body due to the excessive heat. And high amount of sesame and poppy seeds are used during the winter months to keep the body temperature warm.
Aam Jhora is a very common beverage made with raw mangoes. Raw mangoes are highly beneficial for the health and they are quite different from the ripe mangoes. Raw mangoes when eaten with salt, prevents the loss of water from the body and also helps quench the thirst in extreme hot days. Drinking raw mango juice prevents the loss of sodium chloride and iron from the body due to excessive sweating. Raw mangoes which is a very good source of pectin, mixed with honey and salt helps to treat several Gastro intestinal issues due to heat such as diarrhea, indigestion, constipation and so on.
Boiled raw mango juice mixed with cumin and salt helps to treat the prickly heat, sour throat and heat stroke during the summer months. This drink would be something that I will definitely make during the summer months and I am wishing for those hot days to arrive soon and give us a break from this winter.
I adapted this recipe from Wahsushkitchen. Most of the recipe I researched online required cooking the whole raw mangoes in pressure cooker. This was the only recipe that required the mangoes to be charred by some sort of grilling method. Traditionally, it was prepared by baking and grilling the mangoes in a mud oven. I used my toaster oven to grill the mangoes.
Preparation time – none
Cooking time – 40 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make Aam Jhora – Serves 4
- Raw mango – 1 large or 2 small
- Black salt – ½ tsp (I used regular salt)
- Sugar – as per taste (I used about 4 tsp)
- Cold water – 4-5 cups
- Roasted cumin powder – ½ tsp
- Bake/grill the mangoes until they are charred on the outside as well as cooked inside. I alternated between the broil mode and the bake mode in the oven to achieve the soft texture of the mangoes as well as to get the charred exterior.
- Place the mango in a large bowl filled with cold water.
- Slowly pinch of a side of the mango skin and squeeze out all the juices from the mango into the water. Then slowly peel the skin and scrap off all the pulp in to the water. Also remove the pulp from the seed. I used a stainless steel spoon to help scrap the pulp.
- Add the salt, sugar and cumin powder and blend the mixture using an immersion blender. As I mentioned that raw mango had high pectin content, the homogenous mixture that develops after blending will have a thick texture. Adjust the consistency by adding the required amount of water.
- Refrigerate for few hours and enjoy!