Panjiri - The Winter Superfood
Panjiri is a beautiful amalgamation of simple ingredients such as whole-wheat flour, sugar, ghee & heavily laced with dried fruits and herbal gums. Panjiri is a traditional North Indian dish that is a superfood for the winter season. It is known for keeping your body warm, ward off cold, nourishing your joints & is an amazing source of nutrition for new mothers!
½ C Makhana (Lotus Seeds)
1 tbsp Flaxseeds
1½ tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 tbsp Mixed Seeds
5 tbsp Desi Ghee
2 tbsp Edible Gum (Gond)
2 tbsp Cashew nuts
2 tbsp Almonds
2 tbsp Pistachio
2 tbsp Raisins
1 C / 120 gm Whole wheat Flour (Wholemeal)
1 tsp Dry Ginger Powder
½ – 1 tsp Cardamom Powder, adjust amount to taste
¾ tsp Saunf (Fennel Seeds), adjust to taste
½ C Raw Sugar
1. Take a frying pan or a kadahi and place it on medium heat. Once it is hot, reduce the heat to medium low or low and dry roast the makhana, stirring frequently, till they are toasty/ crunchy and get easily crushed by hands. Remove on the plate and allow to cool.
2. In the same pan, dry roast the flaxseeds on low heat, stirring constantly. The flaxseeds will begin to pop, keep stirring and roasting for ten to fifteen seconds and then remove the pan from heat. Keep stirring till the flaxseed are popping. Once the popping stops, remove them on the plate and allow to cool.
3. Place the pan back on low heat and now add the sesame seeds and dry roast them in the same way as we did with the flaxseeds. Once done, remove on the plate and allow to cool. Lightly toast the mixed seeds also.
4. Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind or simply crush the makhana to attain small pieces. Transfer it to the mixing bowl. Next grind the flaxseeds to a coarse powder and transfer to the mixing bowl. Coarsely grind the sesame seeds as well and transfer it to the mixing bowl as well. Grind half the amount of mixed nuts and leave the rest as such and transfer them to the mixing bowl.
5. Add a tablespoon of ghee to the frying pan and roast the edible gum. Keep tossing it around in the ghee to ensure even cooking and also to help each and every piece of the gum to puff up and not remain chewy. Once done, remove on an absorbent sheet. Set aside to cool. Once cool, crush the edible gum using mortar and pestle and transfer it to the mixing bowl.
6. Add a teaspoon more of ghee and fry the almonds till they turn aromatic and crackle. Remove them on an absorbent sheet. Allow to cool. Next, fry the cashews till they turn golden brown and remove them too on the absorbent sheet. Lastly, fry the pistachios till they are nicely toasted and golden in colour. (You need to keep stirring the nuts while frying them to prevent them from burning and also for even cooking.) Add more ghee while toasting, if required. Once cool, grind the nuts to the desired consistency and transfer them to the mixing bowl.
7. Add a teaspoon of ghee (only if required) to the frying pan and fry the raisins and once they are plump, remove them from the pan and transfer them to the mixing bowl.
8. Wipe the frying pan if there is any residue and dry roast the whole wheat flour on low heat for approximately five to seven minutes or till it begins to turn aromatic. Add the remaining ghee and keep roasting the flour on low heat till it attains deeper colour and is no longer raw and becomes highly aromatic. It is essential to constantly keep stirring the flour so that it does not burn.
9. Once it is done, remove the frying pan from the heat and stir in the dry ginger powder. Keep stirring the flour for a few minutes since it will keep cooking in the residue heat. Remove the flour in the separate bowl and allow it to cool completely. It is important to cool down the roasted flour before adding the other ingredients and sugar to it. Once cool, add flour to the rest of the ingredients along with fennel seeds, sugar and cardamom powder. Mix everything well using clean hands or spatula and store in a clean / sterilised air tight jar. Take a clean dry spoon for serving the panjiri.
Yield – 2½ C (350 gm) approximately