Monday, December 15, 2014

Chilled Panak~ A Jaggery based Drink.

"Chilled Panak" is a KhatHa MeetHa TeekHa ie Tangy Sweet Spicy delicious beverage / drink that is served during festivals specially in temples ... A famous South Indian Beverage that is loved by one and all ... Yummy Yumz ....

** Panak is a KhatHa MeetHa TeekHa ie Tangy Sweet Spicy drink from Konkani Saraswat Cuisine that is relished by all during festivals usually held in temples. It is prepared in huge drums and served at mid morning and people throng to enjoy this drink. In Mumbai too during Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations at Seva Mandal, Kings Circle they serve it and I always make it a point to go and have the same. Though we prepare it at home the taste found in temples is something that cannot be attained at home. I guess it is the God's grace that makes it that much more tastier and appealing. 

** During Hodu Teru / Ratha Saptami / Car Festival in Mangalore, My home town ... A Very big festival for Konkani Saraswat's, we used to relish thisdrink along with other favorite items that were available to munch on in the vicinity in and around the temple. We used to eat candies, oranges, chanbure upkari, pachodi, bajos and drink loads of panak as we waited on eagerly for ... Devastana Prasada Panna Jevan / Temple Naivedyam Food Served on Plantain Leaves. It has been decades since I visited this festival and I have somehow lost track on the events that are held now. But we do get to see some video clippings or photos from time to time every year. 

** Coming to Panak, the same is obtained in form of jaggery to which all the ingredients are added and sold. You just need to bring it home and melt it in water, add on lemon juice and a few ice cubes and serve them chilled. But in Mumbai, though they are at times available in Mangalore Stores, many a times we do not get time, also the shelf life of the same too is not much and it gets rancid soon. I never purchase it as the same can be prepared with ingredients readily available in our kitchen too. So this way I have always prepared them throughout the year specially during Ram Navami time another important Hindu Festival that rejoices the birth of Lord Rama and is celebrated with great pomp. But for the sake of my friends I am adding on a picture along here of the "panaka Goda / Jaggery" which I purchased and clicked just for the sake of blogging and sharing it with all of you.

** To prepare the Panak fresh at home : Melt half a kilo goda / jaggery in 4 glasses of (little bit of hot) water. If the jaggery has impurities you need to strain them through a muslin cloth. In Mumbai we get lovely jaggery pieces that does not contain any dirt or whatsoever and we really do not need to strain the same.

** Now add in 2 tsp of pepper powder, 2 tsp of dry ginger powder, ½ tsp of cardamom powder and mix well.  You can also prepare this powder fresh by grinding them in mixer grinder in bulk and storing in a bottle and using the same as and when necessary.

** Note : You can also add fried and cooled 1 tblsp of white til to this (optional). In many temples they do add the same during winter time. I think the idea behind addition of til is, it gives body heat and it is a very sought after ingredient during winter. In Mumbai Til ladoo is famous during this time specially for Sankranthi/Sankramana.

** Add strained juice of 3-4 lemons to the Jaggery mixture and mix well. Add 4 glasses of chilled water or plain water and a few Ice cubes if necessary. Strain if necessary or you can serve it as it is chilled.

** Note : If you want the Panak sweeter add in a little bit more of jaggery and if you want it spicier add in a dash of extra pepper and ginger powder. 

** "Chilled Panak" is done and ready to be served. Always remember to serve this cold as though it is the season of winter, this particular drink does not taste great if served at room temperature as it is spicy too. Enjoy this with your family and friends. 

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