Author Notes: This post would have never occurred to me, had it not been for a recipe for panaka I came across in Madhur Jaffrey’s James Beard award winning book ‘World Vegetarian’ (p. 644) . Its hard to retire quietly at 1.15 am when you see something that is so much a part of ones life, listed as ‘Extinct’. A death knell so loud, that I had to vent about it immediately!
The Hindu festival ‘Ram navami’ is celebrated in the month of April all over India. One of the traditional festive offerings in South Indian temples & households for this event is ‘panakam’, a refreshing punch like drink made with ginger, gud (jaggery, an unrefined sugar) and lime & flavored with cardamom. A time honored tradition kept alive for the past 3000+ (yes, three thousand) years. I prefer adding Lime flavored seltzer in place of water for a refreshing late afternoon drink. —Panfusine
Makes: 1 serving
teaspoons jaggery or brown sugar
teaspoon powdered dry ginger
a lime (squeezed)
ounces Lime flavored Seltzer
- Heat the brown sugar (or jaggery) and 2 oz water in a microwave for about 30 s till dissolved.
- Add powdered ginger and crushed cardamom & steep for about 5- 10 min.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime in cocktail shaker along with the ice cubes cubes and strain the syrup into it.
- Add the remaining water or seltzer as preferred.
- Shake well, Strain into a glass & serve chilled.