March 14, 2017

Paanakam| Paanagam - Traditional Indian Cooler (Ramanavami & Narsimha Jayanti special)

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Paanakam /Panagam is a traditional South Indian summer cooler made using jaggery,ginger powder ,lemon and cardamom powder. Its a power packed energy and health drink to keep the body well hydrated and maintain the body temperature during the severe summer days .
The jaggery version of Paanakam is popular in Tamil Nadu while the lemon based Paanaka is popular in Karnataka . 

(Photos and write up updated on 20th March 2022)

Jaggery is a very good source of iron and potassium while lemon and ginger have antioxidants and good digestive properties. Since summer is the time when the heat wave causes excess dehydration and also leads to increase in body heat, a glass of chilled Panakam on a daily basis will help fight all the dehydration, tiredness and exhaustion .

In  Tamil Nadu,we can find huge stalls along the road side where free Panakam is served to the wiery pedestrians . Even temples have huge pandals or shamianas where panakam and neer mor (spiced Buttermilk) is served to the devotees as prasadam after the Pooja rituals.

Ramanavmi and Narsimha Jayanthy are the two main summer festivals where in Paanakam is a main offering .

Prasadam for both the festivals is incomplete without the Paanakam along with 

Ramanavami 2022 - April 10th

Ramanavmi is celebrated to rejoice the birth of Lord Rama ,the 7th avatar/incarnation of Lord Vishnu . The festival normally falls in the Gregorian Month of March or April every year . As per Indian Calender it is celebrated on the 9th Day of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha (9th day after Amavasya).
Devotees chant verses from Ramayana or sing hymns/bhajans in praise of the Lord and offer prasad and Arati towards the end of the Pooja Rituals.

Narsimha Jayanty is celebrated to rejoice the 4th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu on the 14th day of Vaisakha Shukla Month (14th day after Amavasya); Generally it is in the Gregorian Month of May.
Lord Narasimha incarnated as Half Man and Half Lion to save Prahlada- an ardent devotee of the Lord Vishnu from his Demonic Father Hrinyakashyapu.It is believed that the lord incarnated at the time when the Sun was about to set and the Moon was to rise called as Andhi Sandhi Time .Hence the festival is also celebrated at that time of the day .Devotees observe fast the whole day and immerse in the activities like singing bhajans,doing some kind of charity work and finally break their fast after offering Pooja,Prasad and Arati to the Lord.

This post includes step by step video to make Paanagam / Paanaka

Preparation Time : 5mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Serves  : 2-3 glasses ( 300 ml approx)
Complexity : Simple


1 cup powdered jaggery (160-180 gms)
1.5 cups water (1 cup is 200 ml approx)
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder/chukku podi/shunt powder
2-3 cardamoms/elaichi/elakka powdered
pinch of edible camphor/pacchai karpooram
2-3 teaspoons lime juice
few strands of saffron/kesar/kungumapoo

  • Soak the jaggery in 1.5 cups of water and let the jaggery melt .
  • Stir it well and filter it to remove any form of impurities.
  • Now add the ginger powder,cardamom powder,edible camphor,saffron strands and stir well.
  • Lastly add the lemon juice mix well and serve it chilled or as is.

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  1. This is so so good Priya! I always wondered how'd one make Panakamm at home, this recipe is a keeper!

    1. Glad this post helped you! Do make and enjoy !

  2. Such a tempting drink Priya, I usually make lemon juice with sugar but this paanakam sounds so interesting with all the spices. As soon as the temperature reaches 10C, am trying it out.

  3. Lovely Paanakam Priya. Summer is showing its colour, I will make this refreshing drink to rejuveenaate.

  4. Same pinch on the recipe ! We make it exactly the same way ! Looks delish

  5. Summers and panakams should be synonymous. I love to keep an extra bit of this eve after Ramnavami to beat the heat.

  6. Panakam drink is so apt for the approaching summers. We of the northern side resort to raw mangoes and lime juice drinks in summer. I will gladly try panakam this time. Thanks for the lovely post.

  7. Priya this Panakam sounds so interesting.. Never had this before but this sounds easy and yummy. Will definitely try this soon, as we still have cold weather here in NJ. How long can you store this?

  8. My favourite Paanakam love the flavours that you get with ginger, cardamom and edible camphor. I made it just now after reading your post. It will be wonderfully drink after our walk.


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