Drinks, Everyday Simple Recipes, Festival Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Vegan


panakamPanakam is a simple sweet drink prepared during festivals like Rama Navami. In my village, Thekkegramam, this drink is served to people pulling the temple chariot on Rama Navami day. Some households would keep a huge vessel full of Panakam and serve it to every thirsty passerby. It is a good thirst quencher and natural body coolant. It is healthy since jaggery is used instead of sugar. Dry ginger powder and cardamom powder used for flavoring gives it special aroma and taste. There is no specific recipe for this drink as it is very simple and can be made as per personal preference.

Jaggery – 1/2 cup
Water – 2 cups
Cardamom powder – a pinch
Dry ginger powder/chukku, soonth – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice (optional) – 2 tsps or to taste

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Makes 2 glasses

Method: Add water to the jaggery and let it melt. Add cardamom, dry ginger powder, and lemon juice. Mix well. Use a strainer to filter it out. Chill and serve.

Tips: You may add few Tulasi (basil) leaves for garnish. You can also add a pinch of pepper powder to jazz it up.
You may omit lemon juice. Just the cardamom and dry ginger gives a wonderful flavor and taste.
This is a default item that we make at home after we have finished making jaggery coated banana chips. A lot of jaggery, dry ginger powder, and elaichi remains in the vessel in which the chips are made. So just add water to the vessel and make a drink.

Breakfast, Drinks, Vegan

Apple Beet Carrot Juice

beet carrot juiceA simple and healthy raw juice packed with goodness. Best to have any time of the day. Some beneficial substances in beet are lost when cooked so having beet raw provides maximum benefits. Raw beet has many desirable side effects. To list a few, it helps fight cancer, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes blood vessels. But don’t be surprised if your stool and urine turns red! 🙂

Beetroot – 1 small or 1/2 of a large one
Carrot – 1 medium
Apple – 1/2
Ginger – 1/2 piece
Mint leaves – 5-10
Rock salt/kala namak (optional) as needed
Water as needed


Preparation time: 7 mins
Making time: 5 mins
Makes 1 large glass

Peel and dice beetroot and carrot. Cut the apple into medium size pieces. Peel ginger.
I do not have a juicer and hence made it in the mixer. Place all ingredients in the mixer and process until liquefied. Pour the contents of the mixer into a large strainer and collect the strained juice in a vessel. Process the strained pulp once again in the mixer adding small quantities of water.
Repeat the straining process.
Enjoy fresh and healthy beet juice.

Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Millet Recipes, Snacks, Tiffin, Vegan

Jowar Sundal/Steamed Jowar Snack

SorghumJowar/Sorghum dates back to 3000 BC! Millets have been part of the Indian diet for thousands of years. When wheat and rice took over the markets, the humble millets got buried deep down. What was earlier eaten only by animals and the poor has suddenly gained a place among health foods. With nutritionist harping on innumerable benefits such as higher content of calcium, packed with iron, protein, and fiber, millets are climbing their way back up. Jowar is usually ground and the flour is used for rotis and in baking. Since jowar is gluten-free, making jowar rotis can be tricky. My friends at Aurovika organic store shared this innovative recipe. Simple, easy, and nutritious. Wish that restaurants would start serving stuff like this!

Although millets have a lot of benefits, a word of caution to hypothyroid patients. Please consult your doctor before consuming millets.

Jowar grains – 1 cup
Raw peanuts/groundnut – 1/2 cup (optional)
Cooking Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urid dal – 1/4 tsp
Chana dal – 1/4 tsp
Hing/Asafetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Grated/chopped coconut – 1 tbsp (optional)
Lemon juice as needed
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 30 mins (pressure cooking time)
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Makes 4 cups

Jowar sundalMethod: Rinse and wash jowar in water. Drain and add a cup of water to the jowar and pressure cook 4-5 whistles. If you plan to use raw peanuts also, pressure cook the raw peanuts in a separate vessel inside the pressure cooker (not in the same vessel as the jowar).

Heat an iron kadai, add oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add urid dal and chana dal. When the dals turn pink, add hing and curry leaves. Add the cooked jowar and peanuts, add salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the fire. Add grated coconut. Sprinkle lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot as a snack.

You can also make variations to this by adding chopped onions, tomatoes, chopped coriander, chaat masala, and lemon juice to the cooked jowar and peanuts.

Recipe idea credits: Aurovika Organic Store, Bangalore.