Panchamirtham is a sacred fruit salad that we offer to God and is also used for abishegam (bathing deities) in temples. The famous Palani panchamirtham made using bananas that are exclusively grown near Palani hills is offered to Lord Muruga in Palani temple. You can check this video to see how panchamirtham abishegam is performed to the deity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0bONKBgUm0
In Hindu marriages it is customary that the parents of bride & groom exchange fruits during engagement as a token of acceptance. Later they exchange sweets, clothes, jewels (specially rings), etc. So during every marriage in our family, we used to have loads of fruits that we distribute to relatives, neighbors and we also feed them to cows or elephants in temples. Finally my aunt (mother’s youngest sister) used to prepare an extremely delicious panchamirtham with left-over fruits.
My mother also prepares a panchamirtham using wood apples (vilampazham) during Vinayaka Chathurthi. Panchamirtham is a traditional fruit salad that helps to meet our daily requirement of vitamins & minerals. Nowadays nutritionists are recommending to take salads with seasonal fruits. Here you can check the traditional recipe for a salad using native fruits :
- Red banana (sevvazhai pazham) – 1 No.
- Native banana (nattu vazhaipazham) – 1 No
- Hill banana (Malai vazhaipazham) – 2 Nos.
- Small banana (Poovan pazham) – 2 Nos.
- Mango – 1 No.
- Pomegranate – 1 No.
- Sweet lime (mosambi) – 1 No.
- Guava (koiya pazham) – 2 Nos.
- Dates – 9 Nos.
- Grapes – 12 Nos.
- Jackfruit – 3 bulbs
- Cane jaggery (nattu sarkkarai) – ¼ cup (optional)
- Honey – ½ tbsp
- Discard the seeds of dates, grapes, mango, sweet lime & jackfruit and chop all the fruits.
- Add chopped fruits in a bowl and mash well using masher.
- Add jaggery & honey and mix well.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Please Note: We use larger quantity of bananas than any other fruit, the approximate ratio is 1:1 (ie. bananas : all other fruits)