Friday, April 07, 2006

Panakam,Panaka - Traditional Indian Drink (Summer Cooler)

Today is Sri Rama Navami,an important festival especially among the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. Sri Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (Chaitra Masam) and is observed as the wedding day of Lord Rama and Sita as well as the birthday of Lord Rama.This day also marks the end of the nine day Utsavam called Vasanthothsavam (festival of spring), that starts with Ugadi.Read more about Sri Rama Navami festival.

Today we prepare Panakam (Telugu) or Panaka (hindi), a festive sweet drink and a summer cooler prepared with jaggery and flavored with dry ginger,cardamom and pepper.We also prepare Vada Pappu (split yellow moong dal) with Chalimidi (rice flour based sweet) as naivedyam or prasadam.
Panakam Recipe

2 tbsps grated jaggery
2 glasses water
pinch of dry ginger pwd
1 coarsely crushed cardamom
6-7 coarsely crushed pepper corns

Mix the grated jaggery in water and let it dissolve completely. Filter the jaggery water. Add dried ginger powder, crushed cardamom and crushed pepper. Mix well and serve it at room temperature or chilled.

Sometimes during the hot season I serve this traditional Indian drink as a summer cooler or a welcome drink to quench the thirst and its cooling properties helps to cool our system too. This age-old simple recipe has the luxury of the cardamom flavor,the sharp heat of the pepper and ginger pwd blending with the sweet flavor of jaggery water which is so refreshing that you can have 2-3 glasses at one go and still be asking for more..:).

Note:Ginger ,Pepper and Sonti (dry ginger) are traditionally recommended by Ayurvedic Nutrition to heal ailments of the stomach and throat and especially recommended as home remedies for cold and cough.

Vada Pappu And Chalimidi
Vada pappu is split yellow moong dal (pesara pappu) soaked in water for half an hour and strained.This dal is not cooked and eaten along with chalimidi.
Chalimidi is prepared by soaking raw rice in water for 4-5 hours and the rice is spread out on a dry cloth and left to dry completely and then ground to a fine powder.To this rice powder(1 cup) add grated jaggery (1/2 cup) and coarsely crushed elachi. Wet your hands and mix the ingredients well for a few minutes till you get a smooth soft dough like appearence.Chalimidi is to be eaten in combination with vada pappu.

Panakam is my favorite traditional summer drink after majjiga which is made not only as a festive sweet drink but also as a summer cooler and adds to my list of Indian Drinks And Sharbats.For those who havent tried panakam as yet,do try it and you will love it for sure..:)



Anonymous said...

Sriramanavami Subhakankshalu Sailaja. You made my day with the panakam recipe. Meeru chala adrushtavantulu, anni pandagalu chakkaga celebrate chesukuntunnaru. May Lord Srirama bless you and your family with prosperity, joy and love.

Lakshmi said...

Happy Sri Rama Navami Sailaja

BDSN said...

Happy Sri Rama Navami to u sailu!!Ur pictures look very classic and very traditional...I missed two of ur earlier posts and i want to tell u the pictures r very lovely..i might want to try ur palakailu but gonna make them round shaped balls..:)..just for fun...

Tanuja said...

Happy Sree Rama Navami sailu:)

chalimidi wada pappu panakam looks good.

Vineela said...

Hi Sailu,

Nandita said...

Dear Sailu
Must thank you for bringing us closer to culture
Many regards

Santhi said...

happy srirama navami sailu....

Rita said...

Dear Sailu,

Happy Sri Ramanavami to you. Thank you for writing these recipes, and
bringing me close to home.

Your pictures and presentation is very beautiful. God bless your family.


Ashwini said...

Lovely recipe. And photos.

ammani said...

I cannot believe I missed Srirama Navami yesterday. This recipe reminded me of it. :(

sailu said...

Happy Sri Rama Navami!
Thank you all for you wishes and nice comments..:)

KrishnaArjuna said...

I have tagged you for a meme :-)

Menu Today said...

Your pictures aree great..
I like panagam and vadapappu.
We also make during ramanavami and tamil new years day...

Tweety said...

Telugu at its authentic best!