Panakam is a wholesome food when compared today’s cola drinks which are high on calories and zero nutrition. When we delve into the science behind traditional cuisine, nothing but amazement astounds us for their wisdom in designing such recipes.
‘Panakam’ is one such drink which is made especially during Sri Rama Navami and Narasimha Jayanti and also acts as a coolant in summer.
Heat during the summer causes variations in vatham and kapam while Jatra Agni (the fire which induces hunger) subsides leading to loss of appetite. The ingredients in panakam counteract such elements and provide an instantaneous rejuvenating feel to the one who consumes it. In addition to that, when consumed with ‘Vada Pappu’ it aids the digestion offering a one stop solution to all the illness during summer.
Panakam is a physiological equivalent of Oral Rehydration Solution and regulates the fluid and salt equivalents lost in sweating. Jaggery in panakam has raw carbohydrates which facilitates the electrolyte into the cells and also contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Dry ginger has astringent and antioxidant properties while other ingredients aid in digestion and cleansing of gastrointestinal tract. It is good for problems like urological disorders, heart disease, body pains, cold and cough, asthma, peptic and gastric ulcers and much more. It also acts an appetiser.
Source: The Hindu. Now to this healthy Naivedhyam ☺!!
Yields: 5 cups
Jaggery: 1 cup
Water: 5 cups
Sonti or Dry Ginger: 1” piece
Edible Camphor: less than a pinch
In a mixing bowl add jaggery and water. Let the jaggery dissolve completely.
You can also powder the jaggery before adding to quicken the process.
Squeeze the juice from lemons and add to it.
Powder cardamom, pepper and dry ginger in a mortar and pestle or in a mixie. Add this to the mixture.
Powder the edible camphor or pachai karpooram and add less than a pinch.
Let this sit until the jaggery dissolves or for at least 30 minutes.
Pass the liquid through a strainer for removing the impurities in jaggery. You can also do this before adding other ingredients.
If you strain the jaggery along with the other ingredients after 30 minutes then panakam will be a clear solution.
Offer to The Lord and enjoy!!