Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Indian Mango Cooler in honor of The Lunchbox for Food n Flix

The Lunchbox Movie


This month's presentation for Food n Flix was The Lunchbox chosen by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  You still have time to join us.  Just go to Cam's announcement post and she will instruct you.

Food n Flix is a fun group that each month has a different host choose a movie.  We all watch the movie at our convenience and post a recipe that was either in or inspired by the movie.  It does not have to be a foodie movie at all.  If you, like us, are a foodie you know that you find food inspiration in nearly every movie/book/song/conversation.

It just so happens that this month's movie is a foodie movie.  In fact, the whole story revolves around food in India where they have a very intricate lunchbox service that never makes mistakes except for this one instance.  There is a young, neglected wife who tries to win back her husband's heart through her cooking.  She creates a wonderful lunchbox for him and is bewildered when he does not respond at all since the lunchbox came back licked clean.  When she finally asks him about his lunch he replied that the cauliflower was very good.  The wife then realizes that the lunchbox went to the wrong person.  She writes a note to the recipient in the next day's lunch and therein starts a relationship through letters between the lonely wife and even lonelier widow who is getting the lunches.  It is a touching story and Frank and I enjoyed it.  The only bad thing was that throughout the entire movie Frank kept reminding me that he hates curry and spicy food.  I got the movie on demand and it was mostly in Indian with English subtitles but you quickly forgot that as you got involved in the movie.

A few month's ago we watched The Hundred Foot Journey which was also about Indian food but took place in France and so was a fusion of the two cuisines.  I made an Indian Spiced Beef Bordeaux that Frank did, in fact, enjoy.  When I reminded him of this he quickly pointed out that there was no curry in that dish. I pointed out several other dishes he enjoyed that did contain curry such as Curry Chup Mayo on his burger, a lamb casserole, kale with apples and onions, Chingri Paturi, and couscous with apples and chives.  He remained adamant that he tolerated those dishes but did not enjoy them because he does not like curry.

In the end, I decided to make an Indian dish that did not contain curry.  Doing a search for traditional Indian dishes brought me to a website by serious eats called 37 Indian Recipes We Love.  On this site I found a recipe for Indian Mango Cooler.  Frank loves mangoes nearly as much as he hates curry so I knew that this recipe would steal his heart and just to sweeten the pot a bit....I added some alcohol to the glasses.

He enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it.  I think you will enjoy it as well.  So make yourself a drink, order up this movie and have a great night!!

This mixture makes a great drink.
It is like a marmalade in texture and I am anxious to try a schmear on my toast as well.
It is very fragrant and rich tasting.

Indian Mango Cooler (Panha) with a Punch
adapted from Serious Eats submitted by Denise D'Silva Sankhe

2 lg. Mangoes ( not fully ripened)
4 c. boiling water
1 c. sugar 
1 t. saffron threads
1 t. cardamom powder (the recipe called for green cardamom, I used regular)
Rum (if desired)

Combine mangoes and water in a medium pot and simmer for about 30 minutes or until a spoon pressed into the surface of the mango makes a dent.  Allow to cool then peel and seed the mangoes. Place flesh in a food processor and puree.

Heat the puree over medium heat, stirring often for about 5 minutes.  Add sugar, saffron and cardamon.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes longer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to use.

To serve, put 2 T. of mixture in to a glass with 1 jigger of rum, if desired.  Stir to liquefy the mixture. Fill glass with ice and water.  Print Recipe


  1. Thanks for joining me. Do you know what spice IN the curry he doesn't like?! Blend your own and leave it out. ;) Just a suggestion.

    1. Good idea Cam. I have never made my own curry. Perhaps I will start experimenting and see if I can narrow it down

  2. Sounds delicious Wendy! That's my kind of Indian cooking ;)

  3. A great drink indeed and a great way to stay Indian and make everyone happy!

  4. Very nice, I would never have thought to go that route.

  5. This cooler sounds incredibly refreshing, and I'm all over anything with mango - yum! There are tons of curries that don't contain curry powder (curry actually means sauce), so you should surprise your husband with a curry (sans curry powder) one day and only tell him that he ate a curry once he cleaned his plate. ;)

  6. I love anything mango and this cooler looks amazing with the pairing of saffron and cardamom in it. I bet it was delicious with the rum. ;-)

    1. It was a different taste than I am used to but it grew on me quickly Deb.

  7. Hope he enjoyed this punch! Good compromise!


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