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Pepper-jaggery drink(Panak/panakam)

Today is celebrated as “Ram Navami” by Hindus. This festival is celebrated on the 9th day from Ugadi, Hindu new year. Ram Navami is celebrated as the birth day of lord Rama, from epic Ramayana. On all the 9 days from Ugadi to Ram Navami, poojas and bhajans are performed in the temples.

The main attraction for the kids in this festival is prasad that is served after the pooja. A very tasty spread of food (naivedya/naivedyam - food which is offered to god) is prepared and offered to god and then distributed among the people gathered for the pooja. Obviously the food offered is purely vegetarian without onions and garlic.

At my native, naivedya for this festival usually consists of
muga dali usli (a dry dish prepared with moong dal) – right in the below picture,
chane usli (a dry dish with black chickpeas) – left in the below picture,
ambli pachdi (spiced shredded mango dish),
– panak (a sweetish, spicy drink)

Usually panak is a must during this festival. Other dishes vary from temple to temple. I will post recipes of other 3 dishes soon. After the pooja, god’s idol is taken in palanquin in a procession. The palanquin is placed on many of the Ashwatha katte(a round structure created around the Ashwatha tree) in many places across the village and different people offer pooja to the idol. In many small villages, towns and cities all across India these Ashwatha katte can be found. Devotees, believers normally are found making pradakshina (rounds) in the morning, which is also beneficial to health because of the fresh air around trees.

Ingredients:
2-3 tbl spn jaggery
2 cups water
1/4 tea spn cardamom powder
1/2 tea spn pepper powder
1/2 tea spn grated ginger(optional)
1 tea spn lemon juice(optional)

Ginger and lemon is not added in panak at my place. But in many temples, it is a must.

Method:
Mix all of the above till jaggery is dissolved in water. Make a paste of ginger and add it. Mix well.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins

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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • asha March 28, 2007, 5:48 am

    I have been seeing lot of Panaka drinks these days!:D Looks great, I have never tried it.Sounds like a great drink.

  • sudeepta March 28, 2007, 6:50 am

    I LOVE panak.. thanks for posting. I tried your version of sarupkari yesterday and it was awesome :)

  • Trupti March 28, 2007, 9:23 am

    I liked this with ginger….adds a nice flavor,I think.

  • @ March 28, 2007, 10:29 am

    i had this yesterday for Ram Navami – we make it with ginger, without pepper powder. never ceases to amaze me how many different variations there are even to a simple drink!

  • Manjula March 28, 2007, 11:39 am

    Happy Rama Navami.
    Panak looks great! Just had it in the Ugadi function arranged by Konkani Asscn this weekend.
    I squeeze some lime juice too.
    Now a days ..Panaka Goda/Jaggery is available in the stores of Mlore! Just dissolve in water, squeeze some lime juice…ready!

  • Diane March 28, 2007, 1:47 pm

    How funny – last week I was threatening to come down with the flu and made a HOT version of this every night. I just made it up, based on what little knowledge I have about ayurveda and warming spices. I bruised ginger, threw in 3 cardamom pods and 5 peppercorns in a pot with some jaggery and then boiled/steeped it for 20 minutes or so. Yummy!

  • Ranjani March 28, 2007, 4:38 pm

    i add the ginger , but no pepper .i like the name of ur blog:)

  • Aruna Pai March 28, 2007, 8:17 pm

    Nice post Shilpa…and a good description too. In temples soonthi (dry ginger powder)is used. I wanted to try it since a long time, but could not find the dry ginger powder. Will try with ginger as you mentioned. Thanks

  • pelicano March 28, 2007, 10:42 pm

    Hi Shilpa!
    It looks as if we were thinking similar thoughts when we posted! This looks very good..I love gur…is this ever made with palm gur?
    I like the idea of both ginger and pepper- both are good for you, and a good drink for hot weather too!

  • Sig March 29, 2007, 12:08 am

    Ooh, I love Panakkam, my MIL makes it with dry ginger powder.

  • Anjali March 29, 2007, 4:34 am

    Yeah it does taste good and beats the summer heat too. Last year at work one of the food caterers Uphar Darshini very popular in Blr as you might know served it on Ram Navami to our staff. In fact Gul Pani was offered to visitors in olden days as a welcome drink in summers.

  • Deepa Prabhu March 29, 2007, 9:41 am

    I used to love panak pachdi in childhood…this panak brought back the memories of my childhood…thans for the same.

  • bee March 29, 2007, 11:08 am

    sounds wonderful.

  • swapna March 29, 2007, 11:37 am

    Hi shilpa
    happy sriramanavami..
    loved the panakam..

  • Shilpa March 30, 2007, 7:10 pm

    Asha, this is RamNavami time. So panaks should be seen in most of the blogs :). Last year I missed it, so this year I made sure to post it.

    Thanks for trying saru upkari Sudeepta.

    Yes Trupti. Ginger does add a very nice flavor to this dish.

    @, even at my native, which is a very small place, different temples follow different recipe for this panak. But everyone has their own great taste.

    Manjula, one of the temples at my plaace does have this tradition of adding lemon. May be it depends on what people have been following. I had forgotten to mention it. Thanks for reminding.

    Diane, thats a nice idea. I would love to try it your way sometime. Thanks

    Thanks a lot Ranjani. Pepper gives extra kick to this :).

    Aruna, in our temple, they don’t add ginger at all. Its very strange that different people follow different recipes for the same dish

    Pelicano, traditionally this drink is made with jaggery only. Jaggery has this very different smell as well as taste to it. So I am not sure if palm sugar would suit. Looks like our ancestors wanted to make something super healthy and delicious drink for the festival. Thats how this drink originated. As you know, jaggery, pepper and ginger has lots of medicinal values.
    We do think alike many times. I used to get surprised to read many of your mails :).

    Yes Sig, many people use dry ginger.

    Anjali, you are so lucky to get this drink from Upahara darshini. Good to know our restaurants are keeping our traditions alive.

    Deepa, Pachdi and panak was my favorites too. I could not stop my cravings this time, since I was not having mango, I made only panak.

    Thanks Bee.

    Swapna, thanks and wish you the same.

  • sowmya February 12, 2010, 4:57 am

    hi shilpa loved all ur recipes.I love panaka in karnataka it is made with saunf,pepper is not added to this.saunf will give nice aroma and taste also.try this by only mixing jaggery,saunf powder and cardomom powder.thank u

  • rupal March 19, 2010, 8:05 am

    HI Shilpa,

    thanks for all the lovely receipes. One suggestion, would like to get some good salad receipes too.

    Thanks,
    Rupal

  • Akshatha April 16, 2012, 2:40 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    I have lots of molasses or liquid jaggery with me. Will panak taste equally good with it? everyweek i try some recipe from ur blog, have loved them all…keep up the good work :)

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