Every Summer Break, Mom would be boiling raw mangoes in a steel pot and somehow turn it into a light green colored drink and made sure we drank it. It was specifically meant for my brother A, who was never found inside the house and was always busy in his own world of adventures and was caught playing Cricket and dreaming of becoming the Captain of the Indian Cricket team in sweltering heat of the Summer, while God had destined him to be a Gold Medalist in his education and a very successful Engineer in his career.
I for sure, never quite understood the benefits of drinking this juice and thought it was only for naughty boys who played in the hot sun and therefore, chose not to drink it. Now I realize that raw Mango is packed with vitamin C, iron, is great for sore throat, improves memory etc.,
I went ahead and paired it with one of my favorite ingredients to increase the goodness., lemongrass. For those of you who do not know what it is, it looks like grass and smells like lemon:) If you ever want to plant it in your own kitchen garden, and you are in India, it is widely available in Nurseries and for those of you in the US, lemongrass stalks can be found at Asian/ Chinese Grocery Stores in the produce aisle. You should bring it home and let it's ends soak in a cup of clean cold water for three days and you will spot tiny roots on the soaking ends. At this point, transfer them to a pot of nutritious soil and keep the pot outside in direct sunlight. In about a week, you will see new leaves grow through the old stalks. In Winters, you may bring it inside the house and place it in a well-lit area as it dies in frosty conditions.
Okay, back to this gorgeous drink. It is fragrant, a little tart and a little sweet. And when served chilled, you will be left asking for more. Do try it at home and if you do not have lemongrass, you may want to substitute it with a pinch of cardamom powder.
Raw Mangoes-2, washed and peeled
Salt- to taste
1. Put the peeled mangoes along with the lemongrass into a big stainless steel pot and bring it to a rolling boil.
2. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Turn off the stove and let it cool completely.
4. Squeeze the pulp from the mango and discard the stone.
5. Strain it with a kitchen strainer.
6. Add the sugar and the salt and give it a good stir.
7. Chill in the refrigerator and pour into tall glasses and serve.