It is amazing how we Indians have so much to offer to Gods and Goddesses during festivals, which are equally delicious and wholesome for human consumption too. One such beverage is this Panakam – a special cooling drink from the South Indian cuisine, which is popularly made during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami. Since this festival essentially falls during the summer season, thus, the Panakam Recipe is a really good choice to beat the extreme heat during Indian summers.
What is Panakam
Synonymous with the religious festival of Ram Navami in India, Panakam (Telugu), also referred to as Panagam (Tamil) or Panaka (Kannada) is an easy, refreshing and cooling beverage from the food culture of South India.
Panakam Recipe typically consists of a jaggery sweetened water with hints of tang in it from the lemon juice and is flavored with ground spices like ginger powder (ground ginger), green cardamom powder and black pepper powder.
When offered to Bhagwan Ram during this festival, addition of tulsi leaves (holy basil leaves) also adds a signature taste to it.
Traditionally, Panakam is made as an offering to Bhagwan Ram first and then is distributed amongst the devotees, as a prasadam.
The methodology to prepare it is really simple and it can be made at home at any time. Because of the ingredients in it, the drink acts as a coolant for the body and thus, is the perfect summer beverage when served chilled or with some ice cubes too.
The Panakam Recipe is ultra-easy and you really don’t have to do much to prepare it. Just begin by soaking the jaggery in water till it is completely dissolves and then keep adding the rest of the ingredients like lemon juice, spice powders and salt.
In addition to the tulsi leaves, you can also add some edible camphor to it, if offering to deities.
More On The Recipe
In this Panakam Recipe, you can always alter the quantity of water, lemon juice and the spice powders, as per your requirements. During Ram Navami festival, this beverage along with Kosambari and Neer Mor are popular offerings to Bhagwan Shri Ram.
The recipe of Panakam is so hassle-free that it gets done within 10 minutes. You really don’t have to rack your brains regarding the preparation of the same. You can chill the drink in the refrigerator, if serving to your family or friends.
As I mentioned earlier, if preparing for Ram Navami or any other festival, then you can add some tulsi leaves (holy basil leaves) as well as edible camphor in the Panakam Recipe.
Cooling beverages made at home like this Panakam are far more nutritious and better than soft drinks. There are no chemical flavors, preservatives or additives in such drinks. Thus, making these an absolute healthy choice for human consumption.
How to make Panakam
1. In a bowl, take ½ cup chopped jaggery and 2 cups water. You can add water as required.
2. Mix very well and let the jaggery soak in water for 30 to 40 minutes or till all of it is dissolved. If there are impurities in the jaggery syrup, then filter the solution.
3. Then, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of 1 medium size lemon.
4. Next, add ¼ teaspoon dried ginger powder (ground ginger).
5. Then, add ⅓ to ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder.
6. Add a pinch of edible camphor. If offering Panakam to deities, then you can add edible camphor. Edible camphor is optional and can be skipped.
7. Next, add ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper powder.
8. Add a pinch of salt.
9. Mix very well.
10. Offer Panakam to deities. While offering to the deities, you can add a few holy basil leaves (tulsi leaves) in it.
If serving to your family and friends, you can refrigerate or add some ice cubes in it.
- Jaggery: If the jaggery syrup you’ve made has impurities in it, then you will have to filter the solution. You could swap the jaggery with palm jaggery but not sugar.
- Alterations: You can adjust the quantities of water, spice powders and lemon juice as per your preferences and requirements.
- Optional Ingredients: Edible camphor and tulsi leaves can be added to this beverage, while offering to deities. Otherwise, these are optional and can be skipped.
- Quality Ingredients: Use best quality and unused ingredients when offering this jaggery drink to the deities.
- Variation: One variation of the panakam drink is made with tamarind. So feel free to swap the lemon with 1 teaspoon of tamarind (or as needed). Remember you will need to soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes before extracting its juice and pulp.
- Scaling: You can scale this simple recipe easily by increasing or decreasing the ingredients proportionately.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Panakam Recipe | Panagam Recipe (Jaggery Water)
- ½ cup jaggery – chopped
- 2 cups water or add as required
- ¼ teaspoon dry ginger powder (ground ginger)
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ⅓ to ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch edible camphor – optional
- 4 to 5 tulsi (holy basil leaves), optional
- 3 to 4 ice cubes – optional
- In a bowl, take the chopped jaggery and water.
- Mix very well and let the jaggery soak in water for 30 to 40 minutes till all of it is dissolved. If there are impurities in the jaggery syrup, then filter the solution using a fine strainer.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Next add ginger powder, green cardamom powder, black pepper powder and salt.
- Yo can also add a pinch of edible camphor. If offering panakam to deities then you can add edible camphor.
- Mix very well.
- Offer panakam to the deities. If offering to the deities, then you can add a few holy basil leaves (tulsi leaves) in the panakam. If serving to your family and friends, you can refrigerate or add some ice cubes in the panakam.
- You can add less or more water as needed.
- Ensure that you use fresh lemon to extract the juice and not bottled lemon juice.
- Edible camphor is optional and can be skipped. Tulsi leaves can also be skipped if you do not have them.
- You can add more or less jaggery according to your preferences.
- Instead of jaggery, you can also use palm jaggery.
- The panakam recipe can be easily scaled according to your needs.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Panakam recipe from the archives first published in April 2017 has been updated and republished on March 2023.