Sri Rama Navami Panakam Recipe Cooking Procedure Home

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Sri Rama Navami Panakam: A Divine Concoction

Sri Rama Navami, celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Rama, witnesses the preparation of a traditional, refreshing drink known as Panakam. This sweetened beverage, deeply rooted in Indian culture, holds immense significance during the festival. Let’s delve into the history, importance, and the detailed process of making Panakam, ensuring you can partake in this divine tradition.

Sri Rama Navami Panakam Recipe Cooking Procedure Home

About Panakam

Panakam is a traditional Indian drink, primarily made from jaggery, water, and ginger, often flavored with cardamom and black pepper. It is especially popular in South India during Sri Rama Navami, symbolizing a spiritual offering to Lord Rama.


The origins of Panakam are ancient, tracing back to Vedic times when it was used as a cooling drink. Over centuries, it evolved into a ceremonial offering during festivals, particularly Sri Rama Navami, linking it to the celebratory ethos of Lord Rama’s birth.


Panakam is not just a thirst quencher but a symbol of prasad (sacred offering), embodying the essence of simplicity, purity, and devotion. It is believed to possess healing properties, aiding in digestion and cooling the body in the summer heat.

Items Required List

  • Jaggery: 100 grams
  • Water: 4 cups (1 liter)
  • Ginger: 1 inch, finely grated
  • Cardamom: 4 pods, crushed
  • Black pepper: ½ teaspoon, freshly ground
  • Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons (optional)
  • Tulsi leaves (Holy basil): A few for garnish

Nutritional Information

Panakam is rich in iron (from jaggery), aids in digestion (thanks to ginger), and has antioxidant properties (from cardamom and black pepper). It’s a healthier alternative to artificial sweetened beverages, providing hydration and energy with approximately 120 calories per serving (250 ml).

Preparation Time

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: Not applicable as Panakam does not require cooking.

Cooking Procedure Overview

Making Panakam involves dissolving jaggery in water, infusing it with spices like ginger, cardamom, and black pepper, and optionally adding lemon juice for tanginess. The mixture is then strained and served chilled.

Detailed, Step-by-Step Cooking Procedure

  1. Dissolve Jaggery: In a large vessel, add water and jaggery. Stir until the jaggery completely dissolves.
  2. Infuse Spices: Add grated ginger, crushed cardamom pods, and freshly ground black pepper to the jaggery water.
  3. Add Lemon Juice: If using, squeeze in the lemon juice, enhancing the flavor and adding a refreshing tang.
  4. Mix Well: Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure all the flavors meld together.
  5. Strain: Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any solid particles, ensuring a smooth drink.
  6. Chill: Refrigerate for an hour or serve immediately over ice cubes for a cooling effect.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Pour into glasses, garnish with tulsi leaves, and offer first to Lord Rama as prasad before serving.


  • For best results, use organic jaggery as it dissolves better and offers a richer flavor.
  • Adjust the quantity of ginger and black pepper based on your preference for spiciness.
  • Straining is crucial for a smooth texture, so don’t skip this step.

Serving Procedure

Panakam is traditionally served in small clay cups or glasses. Offering it to the deity first as prasad and then distributing it among family and friends symbolizes the sharing of joy and blessings.

Serving Decoration Ideas

  • Serve in clear glasses to showcase the golden hue of Panakam.
  • Garnish with a sprig of tulsi or a thin slice of lemon on the rim for an elegant touch.
  • Serve alongside neivedyam (offering) plates for a festive look.

Things to Know

  • Panakam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, though fresh preparation is recommended for the best taste.
  • It is not only a festive drink but can also be enjoyed as a natural summer cooler.


  • Can I use sugar instead of jaggery? While jaggery is traditional and healthier, sugar can be used as an alternative if jaggery is not available.
  • Is Panakam suitable for diabetics? Given its high sugar content from jaggery, it’s advisable for diabetics to consume it in moderation or consult with a healthcare provider.
  • Can I make Panakam without ginger? Ginger adds a unique flavor and aids digestion, but you can omit it if preferred.

Embracing the tradition of making and sharing Panakam on Sri Rama Navami is not just about following rituals but also about celebrating purity, health, and divine blessings. This simple yet profound drink serves as a reminder of the timeless heritage of Indian festivals and their deep-rooted significance in fostering community and spirituality.

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