Beverages/ Food Stories

Kachi Keri nu Pannu/Baflo

Kachi Keri nu Pannu or Baflo are the Gujarati summer drinks made using the kachi keri meaning the raw mangoes.

Yes its that time of the year once again..the summer is upon us and this gives us a reason to rejoice, really?? One would wonder!!

Ironically, Gujaratis wait for the gruelling summer just because it brings along with it ‘Mango’ their favourite fruit. Its the most revered fruit in Gujarat. The dry and intense heat of Gujarat would become unbearable if we did not have Mangoes to look forward to. As a matter of fact, for most Indians summers and mangoes are inseparable.

The homemakers plan the daily menus in a way that allows them  to  accommodate maximum dishes made with Mangoes. Aam Ras, Fajeto, Kachi Keri Kachumber, Keri nu shaak, Keri ni Chutney, Baflo/Pannu, Keri Shrikhand etc. etc and the annual preserves  Keri na athana, chundo, murabbo are all to be made during the small window we have of enjoying this divine fruit!!

There are a few traditions associated with the Mango season as well. The Jains call the mango season as Keri Garo/Mango period when they have their annual family keri garo feasts planned to celebrate this fruit.

Most traditional Gujarati families begin consuming mangoes for the season only after offering a raw mango to the Holika pyre.

Kachi Keri nu Pannu and Kachi Keri no Baflo are very traditional Gujarati beverages made from raw mango. Pannu and Baflo could be termed as two sides of the same coin. The line that differentiates these drinks is so blur that in some parts of Gujarat the names get interchanged. Basically the difference is in the spices added. While some add black salt and roasted cumin seeds others  add saffron and cardamom to it. The star ingredient though is the Kachi Keri or the Raw mangoes that begin to arrive in the beginning of summer.

The ‘Loo’ or the strong, hot, dry summer winds that blow in the afternoon can dehydrate and give heat stroke. Hence during the summers drinks like these are always kept handy. Raw mangoes have a excellent body cooling qualities  and should always be included in summer meal plans.

The Kachi Keri no Baflo is called Keri nu Pannu in some regions. While some regions just call it by different names some make it in entirely different manner.  Some of our regions cook the mangoes on open flame to extract the mango pulp for Baflo.

To be able to enjoy both the versions I came up with an easier way. Some basic syrups, few regular seasoning spices and we are ready to serve any of the popular version.  Also, for Baflo sugar and jaggery are interchangeable sweeteners, depending on one’s choice. But since I am partial to the caramely flavours of organic jaggery  what I have done is made jaggery syrup along with the saffron and cardamom infused sugar syrup. Blend the raw mango pulp with the syrup of your choice, spike the drink with seasonings, add lots of ice  and serve.

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Kachi Keri Nu Pannu and Kachi Keri no Baflo

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium sized raw mango
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1 cup sugar
  • black salt
  • salt
  • roasted cumin seeds powder
  • a few strands saffron
  • 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder

 

Method

To prepare the mango pulp

  • pressure cook the mango until done, once cooled pull the mango skin off (the skin will pull of easily) and massage the mangoes with hand to separate the pulp from the seeds.
  • pass the pulp through a sieve to have a homogenous pulp.
  • Reserve in a clean jar.

 

To prepare the jaggery syrup

  • Take  1 cup jaggery and 2 cups water.
  • Mix jaggery and water in a saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remember  to give the bubbling mixture an occasional stir.
  • Take the mixture to single string consistency. Just when I knew the mixture has thickened a bit turned the fire off.
  • Allowed the syrup to cool, transferred it to a bottle/jar and stored it in refrigerator.

 

To prepare the sugar syrup

  • Follow the method to Jaggery syrup to prepare the sugar syrup. By the end of the cooking process add the saffron and cardamom powder.
  • Store the syrup in a clean bottle.

 

Now that you have all the elements ready all you have to do is to blend the raw mango pulp with the syrup of your choice.

In a tall glass add pulp+jaggery mixture, roasted cumin powder, salt, black salt and water. Stir well.

The colour of the drink will depend upon the colour of the jaggery. The jaggery used in the Baflo I made was dark brown hence the colour of the drink is brown.

Normally its one part pulp, 2-3 parts syrup and enough water to fill the glass. You might get the proportions right after making a couple of glasses as it depends on the sourness of the mangoes.

You might also want to give the drink a mix using a hand blender or a whisk.

You may make these drinks in individual glasses or make them in a jug.

Alway serve chilled.

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