If you’re craving something sweet and need a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, then a bowl full of nutritious and healthy Panjiri recipe can be a great option. Panjiri also referred to as ‘dabra,’ is a north Indian dish that forms a quintessential part of the winter food.
This classic winter dish is prepared by roasting flour and semolina in ghee and is finished off with loads of healthy nuts and spices.
Panjiri is one of the heirloom recipes of our times that can be considered as family treasures. It has been passed down from generations that hold special memories of the precious moments!
The memories of my mother and grandmother preparing the Panjiri and we, as kids, relishing every bit of it, still hold an extraordinary place in my heart, and they always will.
Panjiri is especially a winter delicacy that is loaded with health and deliciousness that renders you addicted.
What is Panjiri Recipe
Panjiri is a dessert made with whole wheat flour (atta) meticulously roasted in pure desi ghee, sweetened with Khandsari sugar/Khand*, flavored with cardamoms, spices, and nutritiously packed with a generous amount of dry fruits.
It is eaten mainly in the winter season as it is known to help in keeping the body warm with its heat-generating ingredients like sonth (dry ginger) powder, goond (edible gums), and kamarkas (gum of the Palash tree also known as flame of the forest). It is dry, crumbly, and coarse in texture.
Panjiri is easy to make, although it takes some time to come together. Most of the effort is put into the roasting process, but the end product is worth all the effort.
* Khandsari sugar – Khandsari or Khand is a simple sugar that is physically extracted from the liquid jaggery, making it the healthiest alternative to refined white sugar.
Reasons You’ll ♡ this heavenly treat!
Panjiri is an amazingly delicious and highly nutritious food. But there are other reasons also why you would love it entirelyand they’re —
- Go-to comfort food.
- Can satisfy your dessert cravings instantly.
- An excellent nutritional supplement.
- For convenience, form them as ladoos and enjoy.
- Panjiri can be relished over breakfast or eaten as a snack at any time of the day.
The best part, this nutritious Panjiri recipe can be made in big batches and stored, to be used later as a quick daily snack along with warm milk.
Ingredient list for Panjiri recipe
Flour — Whole wheat flour forms the base ingredient of this recipe. It is roasted with patience and then mixed with the recipe’s other ingredients.
Sooji — Roasted fine Sooji/ Semolina is also added to the Panjiri as it adds a subtle coarse texture to it. You may skip it entirely if you do not want its texture.
Sweetener — Traditional Khandsari/Khand is added to the Panjiri recipe. Khand is rich in calcium, minerals, fiber, iron, vitamins, and magnesium. It’s most similar to unrefined cane sugars like jaggery and that’s what I have used in this Panjiri recipe. Jaggery is added in the powdered form to our Panjiri. You can substitute jaggery with granulated sugar.
Ghee — This delicious recipe of Panjiri uses desi ghee for roasting wheat flour and other ingredients to add its distinctive rich flavor and bring in more health benefits. For the most flavourful ghee, you can use the Instant Pot Ghee recipe that takes 20 mins to prepare.
Nuts and Seeds — We bring crunch, nutrition, texture, and richness to our Panjiri by adding nuts and seeds to it. You may choose to add the nuts that you have a liking for.
Phool Makhane — Rich in Vitamins B, C, A, and E, proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fibers, Phool Makhane or Lotus seeds are added for the crunch and the nutritional value it brings to the recipe.
Goond (edible gum) — Easily available at the nearby grocery store, Goond or edible gum is added to the Panjiri recipe as it is a highly nutritious and warming food that generates heat in the body during the cold winter days.
Dry Ginger Powder — Dry ginger powder or saunth powder is added to the Panjiri for the distinctive spicy flavor that it brings. It also generates warmth and is suitable for the Panjiri that is to be consumed in the winter season.
Dried Coconut — Flakes of dried coconut are added for a delightful crunch and subtle flavor. You may skip adding if you so want. But if you are adding, it will need a bit of dry roasting before being added.
Elaichi (Cardamom) Powder — Added to Panjiri for the flavor and verve.
Ajwain (Carrom) Seeds — Included for the flavor and to help digest Panjiri, which may be heavy on the stomach for some.
How to make Panjiri Recipe
This traditional recipe is a staple in my house. With the onset of winters, I make a big batch of panjiri, relishing it throughout the cold season. Patience is the key to this recipe. Do not rush; cook with ease, and you will love the combinations of flavors.
Toasts the nuts — Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed wide pan. Once hot, fry the phool makhana for 7-8 minutes until lightly brown. Remove and reserve. Likewise, cook the goond (edible gum), dry nuts, raisins one by one on medium-low heat until puffed and brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Grind the nuts — Once the goond and dry nuts have cooled, transfer the puffed-up goond and a handful of toasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios to a grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. It should take about 1 minutes total. Set it aside.
Cook on a medium-low flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously until the atta turns golden and its aroma fills the room. Add roasted sooji and mix until combined. Take the pan/kadhai off the heat.
Assemble Panjiri — Add Khand or jaggery, toasted dry nuts, toasted coconut flakes, phool makhana, cardamom powder, ajwain, coarsely-ground dry nuts, and spices.
Mix it well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust the sweetness at this point. Your homemade Panjeeri is ready.
Store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place when completely cooled.
Expert tips and Variations
Alternate sugar with jaggery — Traditional preparation of the Panjiri recipe requires powdered raw sugar, also known as Khandsari sugar/Khand. Khandsari is a chemical-free and physically extracted sugar from liquid jaggery. It is easily digestible and is rich in minerals, nutrients, and fibers. Since I didn’t have khandsari on hand, I have used jaggery in this panjeeri recipe. You may alternate jaggery with granulated sugar if you like.
When using powdered sugar — Do not use the powdered sugar that we use for baking. This sugar has added cornflour in it that may spoil our recipe. Instead, you may grind granulated sugar at home for best results.
Roast the nuts and the seeds on low flame — Always roast the dry fruits and the seeds over a low flame so that the moisture is released slowly and correctly. High flame may over-roast or burn the nuts and seeds, rendering them a smoky yet not pleasing flavor.
Cool the nuts properly before grinding — Cooling the nuts entirely before grinding is essential. Warm nuts will release the oil while grinding and become buttery.
Do not over-grind the nuts — Over-grinding the nuts will make them paste-like as they release their oil. So make sure to keep them a little coarse. Moreover, coarse texture adds a delightful crunch to the whole recipe.
Fully cooked Phool Makhane — Roast phool makhane in less ghee, as they absorb well. Raw phool makhane will not break if you bite into it. It’ll be crispy and break apart easily once you bite into it when cooked.
Stir continuously while roasting — While roasting the flour, keep stirring continuously; otherwise, it may start to burn at the bottom of the pan. I prefer roasting on a medium-low flame throughout.
When to skip adding goond — If you are preparing the Panjiri recipe for summers, skip adding goond, as it is a warming ingredient that generates heat and is not very suitable for a summer intake.
Adding Kamarkas is optional — You may add Kamarkas, especially when preparing the Panjiri as the postpartum food. It is an excellent source of nutrients and minerals that are much needed after delivery or during lactation. It aids in back pain and muscle weakness and is recommended for those who are healing. If adding Kamarkas, roast them for 2-3 minutes in ghee until it exhibits a red hue.
Vegan Option — You can make the panjiri recipe vegan by simply replacing ghee with coconut oil.
Health benefits of Panjeeri recipe
Panjiri is a superfood packed with health and nutrition furnished by the dry fruits and desi ghee and other ingredients that form its part. Here are the many ways that Panjiri can be beneficial —
- It relieves minor aches and pains and also lubricates joints.
- As it has warming ingredients included, it helps the body keep warm in the winter season.
- It is considered an excellent postpartum food that facilitates healing and speeds up the recovery after delivery.
- It is also highly nourishing for a lactating mother.
Procuring the ingredients for making Panjiri may seem harder than making Panjeeri itself. You can find fox nuts (phool makhana), edible gum (goond), the flame of the forest (kamarkas), and jaggery (gur) in many Indian grocery stores or online (at Amazon), but feel free to omit the ingredients you can’t find.
Let me know what you think!
So, let’s begin with the journey of preparing the authentic panjiri recipe that not only warms your heart and soul but also makes you completely winter-ready. Give this family recipe a try, and I am sure you will love it.
Should you make this peanut chikki or gajak, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below.
And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
SIMILAR FESTIVE INDIAN TREATS THAT YOU SHOULD TRY —
- 1 cup Slivered Almonds
- 1½ tablespoons Eliachi Powder (Cardamon Powder)
- ½ cup Char Magaz (Mixed melon seeds)
- ¼ cup Sliced Pistachios
- ½ teaspoon Ajwain/ Carom seeds
- 1 cup Goond (Edible gum crystals)
- 1 cup Dried Coconut Flakes dry roasted
- 2 tablespoons Ginger powder or saunth
- 1 cup Sliced Cashews
- 1 cup Phool Makhane (puffed lotus seed or foxnut)
- 3 tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
- 3-4 tablespoons Golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons Kamarkas flame of forest
- 3 tablespoons Ghee to fry the nuts and seeds
FRY THE NUTS
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Once hot, add Makhane (puffed lotus seed or fox-nut).
- Roast for 7-8 minutes until lightly brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the roasted makhana from ghee and set it aside.
- Add another 1 tablespoon ghee to the pan. Add goond (edible gum) and cook on a low flame for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Goond will puff up in ghee. Do not rush through this process. Allow it to swell completely in hot ghee. When the crackling stops, the edible gum will look crisp and almost doubled in size.
- Remove from ghee and allow it to cool completely. Transfer the cooled goond to a blender/food processor and pulse/grind until it reaches a crunchy and coarse texture. Set it aside. Clean the pan with a dry kitchen paper towel as needed.
- Add 1 tablespoon ghee and roast all the nuts.
- Roast for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set it aside. Save some of the dry-roasted nuts and grind them to their powdered form.
- Dry roast char magaz seeds ( mixed melon seeds) for a minute, remove from ghee and set it aside. Dry-wipe the pan.
- Lower the heat, and add 1½ teaspoon of ghee. Add raisins for 2 minutes and roast until they puff and change color. Remove from heat and set aside.
ROAST THE FLOURS
- Add sooji to the pan.
- Keep stirring and dry roast the sooji for 7-8 minutes. When it turns light brown, remove it from ghee and set it aside.
- Add the remaining ghee to the hot pan.
- Add wheat flour.
- Mix it well. Cook on a medium-low flame, stirring continuously.
- Cook the wheat flour on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the atta turns golden and its aroma fills the room.
- Mix in previously roasted sooji.
- And cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
- Take it off the flame and mix in jaggery.
- Start adding the toasted nuts one by one – raisins, chaar magaz.
- Add toasted coconut flakes and phool makhane (puffed lotus seed or foxnut).
- Mix in toasted dry nuts, cardamon powder, and ajwain.
- Add the ground dry nuts and goond.
- Mix it well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Taste and adjust the sweetness at this point.
- Garnish and serve.
- Panjiri stores well – When completely cooled, store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.