Panakam -Traditional Indian Summer Cooler of Jaggery and Dry Ginger
Panakam or Panagam: Traditional chilled drink of Jaggery water with dry ginger -specially made for Sri Rama Navami festival - easy, refreshing and healthy
Cuisine: Indian, south indian
Author: Sujata Shukla
¾ cupjaggeryvellam/ gur
3cupswater2 ½ cups of chilled water + ½ cup extra
1inchDry Ginger piecechukku/saunth. Fresh ginger will not give the same flavours
afewtulsi leavesholy basil leaves
½ teaspoonFresh ground peppercorns(optional)
1- 2tablespoonsFresh lemon juice(optional)
Soak the jaggery in ½ cup of water for about 10 minutes, so that it softens and is easier to dissolve.
Stir briskly to dissolve the jaggery in the water. Filter with a clean white cloth.
Add the chilled water to the jaggery water.
Pound the dry ginger and cardamom to powder, using a mortar and pestle. Remove the tough fibrous pieces of the ginger (retain the peel/ skin of the cardamom as it continues to add flavour to the panakam).
Use only dry ginger as fresh ginger will totally change the flavours. Freshly pounded dry ginger pieces will add more flavour than store bought/ bottled dry ginger powder.
Filter the liquid to remove any particles of ginger or cardamom.
Add tulsi leaves (sacred basil), lightly crushed, and serve chilled.
Optional: Add freshly ground pepper, a pinch of edible camphor, and/ or lemon juice, as desired, stirring well before serving.
The recipe is for a mildly sweet drink. Increase the quantities of jaggery or dry ginger to your taste.