Panakam is a traditional ayurvedic lemonade offered to deities at home on the day of Sashti observed by Saivites and also on the day of Rama Navami celebrated by Vaishnavites. Rama navami is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Rama and Kandha Sashti Viratham is observed for 7 days after Deepavali, apart from the regular Shasti every month.
We usually drink this delicious panakam all the 7 days while fasting as it helps to purify, energize & hydrate our body. My grandfather’s sister, a hardcore devotee of Lord Muruga, never missed to observe fasting on every Sashti (falls once in a month) and also she observed silence (mouna viratham) throughout the day and meditated with Rudhraksha beads. She used to take bath in the evening and broke her silence while performing a grand pooja. Finally she drank panakam followed by a light meal consisting of cooked samba rice (raw rice) drizzled with sesame oil, a banana, a block of jaggery (achchu vellam) and a few pieces of coconut meat.
We, as children, were completely awestruck watching her meditating and performing pooja. Hope I would also follow her footsteps when I grow old! Now let’s prepare Ayurvedic Lemonade :
Time Taken: 5 min
Yields: 300 ml
- Lemon – 1 No.
- Powdered palm jaggery – 1/4 cup
- Dried ginger (chukku) – 1/2 inch
- Cardamom – 1 No.
- Salt – a pinch
- Water – 300 ml
- Few Tulsi leaves for garnishing
- Crush dried ginger & cardamom using mortar & pestle into powder and keep aside.
- Add jaggery into water and stir until dissolved.
- Add salt, lemon juice and powdered ginger into jaggery water.
- Finally filter the lemonade through a fine mesh.
- Garnish with Tulsi leaves before serving.