This delicious North Indian dessert is usually given to new mothers, as an aid to lactation. The ingredients in it are believed to increase milk supply. Health benefits aside, Panjiri is a delicious dessert. If you are not making Panjiri for a new mother, you can leave out the optional ingredients in the list.
- 1 cup ghee
- 1/4 cup gond / gaund (edible gum crystals)
- 1/4 cup makhana (puffed lotus seeds)
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour (atta)
- 1/2 cup coarse semolina (sooji)
- 1 cup sugar (ground coarsely)
- 1 cup unsalted almonds (dry roasted and ground to a coarse powder)
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon carom seed powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed powder (optional)
Heat the ghee in a deep pan or wok, on a medium heat.
Add the gond crystals and fry, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The crystals will puff up. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
In the same ghee, fry the makhana till pale golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
Grind the gond and makhana (separately) to coarse powders, in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
In the same ghee as above, add the wholemeal flour and semolina. Stir continuously and cook till the mixture is pale golden in color and looks like damp sand. This takes patience. Do not be tempted to raise the cooking temperature as this will only cause the mixture to burn.
When the flour and semolina are fully roasted, add all the other ingredients (including the fried and ground gond and makhana). Mix well and turn off the heat.
Allow the Panjiri to cool to room temperature before serving.
If serving to a new mother, Panjiri is usually given with a glass of warm full cream/ whole milk.