Raw Mango Cooler

Tilly bomb has been chilling at his grandmas this summer. It’s a rather long stay this time and with so much toddler energy floating around the house I’ve just about managed to scramble some time in for this post.

A ritual of sorts has set in. I wake up at 6:00 am and go for a run. T wakes up soon after and his day begins with some cling time with grandma followed by breakfast and unadulterated play time. I get back, get us both ready for the day and before we know it it’s 11:00 am already. We have a ‘Juice Ritual’ in place where T will enjoy a glass of gorgeous cold homemade juice. Everyday is something different. So far there has been lemonade, watermelon and mint, kokam sherbet and raw mango infused with saffron, my favourite.

The raw mango juice also called ‘Ambyache Panha’, is a super traditional Maharashtrian drink specially made by mums and grandmums for the whole family to cool down with. In other parts of the country it is also known as ‘Aam Panna’. It’s fairly uncomplicated to make and totally yummy.

Here’s what you will need:


  • 1 Raw mango. Avoid using Alphonso since those tend to be extremely sour which means the concentrate will require more sugar to balance the sourness. Try using a variety of Raw mango which is not that sour. I’ve used a ‘Totapuri’ for it isn’t too sour and it yields more pulp then other raw mangoes. Any other variety will require double the amount of sugar.
  • Organic sugar, the measure of sugar should be equal to the measure of the pulp extracted
  • Saffron
  • Cardamom seeds, ground
  • Pinch of salt

Here’s what you will need to do:

  • Cut a slit in the mango and chop the brown stem off the top. There is a lot of sap just below the stem which you could do without


  • Pressure cook the mango for about 3 to 4 whistles
  • Take it out of the pressure cooker and gently de-skin
  • Squeeze out all the pulp off the stone and add it into a blender
  • Add the sugar to the pulp with the salt and the cardamom powder and blend until smooth
  • Add the saffron strands
  • Store the concentrate in a glass bottle



  • Fill 1/4 of the glass with the concentrate
  • Top off the glass with cold water
  • Stir vigorously and serve cold
  • If you think the drink is too strong you could choose to reduce the quantity of the concentrate in the glass


Summer Blini

Our family vacation is coming to an end and needless to say ‘T’ has had oodles of fun with his cousin and new friends making this a fantastic first summer for him.

photo Also, I had the opportunity to visit a very dear friend Sukhmani, nearly after a decade and had an amazing time with her. I was exposed to some popular Russian dishes, beers and some gorgeous Romanian delicacies thanks to her warm hospitality and welcoming friends.

She cooked up a delicious breakfast of Blini and honey ginger tea. Blin or Blini (pl.), a popular Russian breakfast item are essentially super thin pancakes and can be eaten sweet or savory. Much like a Cheela. The moment I had these I knew I had to get back and make some for ‘T’!

Traditional Russian Blini are made with yeasted batter, which is left to rise and then diluted with cold or boiling water or milk. When diluted with boiling water, they are referred to as zavarniye blini and are baked in a Russian oven. Though, these days they are universally pan-fried, like pancakes.

I did a summer spin on these with some berries included in the batter and made them pancake style. The blueberries speckled the Blini making them look gorgeous! I served them up with some cut fruit and a small dollop of sour cream.

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  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (one can use any kind of flour for these)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries and strawberries
  • Butter


In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt. Sift the flour into the bowl, and stir in along with the milk. Then, add the berries and blend it until smooth. The batter should be thin. I used a hand blender.
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly butter the pan. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the batter, or as much as desired, into the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter out evenly. When the edges are crisp looking and the center appears dry, slide a spatula carefully under the Blin. Flip, and cook for about 1 minute on the other side, or until lightly browned.

Remove Blin to a plate. Put a little butter on top, and continue to stack on top of each other. To serve, spread with desired filling, then fold in half, and in half again to form a triangle.