When my friend Feryal visited her mum in Pakistan , she had a taste of Panjiri , which is a seasonal Punjabi staple in both India and Pakistan , especially made during winters to ward of the cold. It is made with whole wheat and semolina in India as my Grandmother would make it , but in Pakistan as I learnt ,it is usually made with semolina. The entire atmosphere in the kitchen as she wrote to me while it was being prepared in her mum's kitchen by the cooks was a memory she would cherish. And I thank her mum for and sharing it on my blog .
Panjiri , being highly nutritious and strength giving ,is usually given to lactating mothers and it is now called a super food ! It relieves a lot of aches and pains in winter . It has an ingredient called Fitkari or Phitkari , ie. Alum , which has a lot of health benefits including treating skin problems and is an antiseptic. Kamarkas or Sage has fabulous health benefits too such as fighting depression, improving memory and helps in lowering cholesterol and is good for your heart to name a few.
I still remember when we were told to eat Panjiri we would avoid it for the fear of putting on lots of weight, unaware of its many many benefits. Coming back to a ghee diet now and with the long list of benefits , I no longer have this question running in my mind...to eat or not to eat?
So here is Feryal's Mum's recipe of the Panijiri
500 gms Semolina
500 gms Sugar , can also use Jaggery
1 cup Desicated coconut
2 cups Fox nuts , Phool Makahana
1/2 cup Melon seeds , Char Magaz
3/4 cup Gum crystals , Gond
2 tblsp Ginger Powder,Sauth
1/2 cup Dry dates
1/4 cup Pistachio
3 tblsp Walnuts
1 tblsp Kamarkas or Sage
300 gms Ghee
1 tblsp Phitkari or Alum (optional)
To prepare: Each home has its own way of preparing this dish and that is why its very unique.
1. Dry Roast all the ingredients except for the Semolina.
Dry Roasting ...
2. Pulse them , but see that it is a bit course .
3. Heat ghee and add the semolina .Then continue to cook or bhuno the semolina . This takes a lot of time and patience . The ghee starts to come away and you must be able to smell the fragrance through your entire home.
The Cooks bhunoing/ cooking with a lot of patience
4. Add the sugar and keep cooking a while longer will the sugar is mixed very well and the ghee completely comes away.
5. Cool it down , serve or store in tight containers.
Delicious and Nutritious