Baflo, a drink made using the raw mangoes was once a staple to most homes. I remember coming back from school to a chilled glass of Baflo. In Gujarat the aam panna is called Baflo. In the good old days much before the advent of pressure cookers the food was slow cooked on open fire vegetables like brinjals, potatoes, sweet potatoes were always grilled over the dying ambers. During the summers the raw mangoes were always roasted on coal or wood fire, lending the drink a very smoky and earthy flavour. The Baflo does not use sugar but Jaggery and bear very earthy colour. In those days, jaggery was always dark in colour and the baflo too had very earthy colour. The drink was perfect when served during lunch, which was always followed by siesta.
Raw mangoes, as we all know are a good to beat the extreme dry heat of summer. It helps us fight sun strokes and prickly heat. Since they are rich in Vitamin C they are beneficials in boosting our immunity. Such drinks also help us remain hydrated. I always advocate home made drinks that have tons of health benefits instead of bottled drinks that just make pretty pictures….
After our travels through the beautiful Sri Lanka where food is still cooked over wood fired al fresco stoves, I was itching to use my petit coal stove that I had travelled back with me from one such travels. Roasting the mangoes to make the old version of Baflo was an appealing option. Since, the wood and coal fired cooking has become thing of past, we have adopted our taste buds accordingly. But, deep within we still yearn for the aromas of food cooked on wood fire. And making this Baflo the good old way brought back a million memories. The summers, vacations, families coming together, cousins, laughter and following no schedules….All we enjoyed was leisure and food…..
There is no specific recipe that I have followed to make this drink. The pulp of cooked mangoes was removed and mixed with jaggery, salt, black salt, roasted cumin powder, pepper powder and some mint leaves (all of this to taste) and cold water. The mixture was blended in a mixer, chilled and topped with ice. The consistency of the dink is much like tomato soup not very diluted hence, add water accordingly. The jaggery also needs to be adjusted basis the tartness of the mangoes. Fresh mint leaves and roasted cumin seeds make drastic difference to the overall taste of this drink.
Drink a glass of Baflo after returning back home, we had it during our after school meal. It was always made and it was a must to drink a glass of Baflo as it helped protect us from the loo (strong, hot, dry summer wind)