Panjiri is a North Indian sweet mixture. It is healthy, nutritious, and has a savory taste. This is a traditional panjiri recipe from my Kumaoni family made with dry fruits, edible gum (gond), and spices.
Panjiri is a popular sweet across North India. It is considered a good nutritional supplement for the brutal winters and nursing mothers.
Panjiri helps nursing mothers in lactation, builds immunity, and boosts energy. It is more like a herbal energy bar.
It has plenty of dry fruits, warming spices, and herbal gums. Hence, the taste of a panjiri is sweet, and savory with a hint of spiciness.
Every family has its own heirloom panjiri recipe passed on from one generation of mothers to another.
Kumaoni Prasad Panjiri
In many regions of India, to celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, panjiri is made as a prasad (sacred sweet).
Krishna Janmashtmi is the birthday of Lord Krishna. Hence, panjiri is made for the birth mother of the lord as a sacred offering.
My family makes this Pahadi Style Dhaniya Panjiri as a Janmashtmi sweet. No flour is added to the Kumaoni Prasad Ki Panjiri. It is a gluten-free sweet.
The flavor comes from dry ginger powder (saunth), carom seeds (ajwain), and coriander seeds. A pinch of turmeric is added to provide beautiful golden color to the Pahadi Panjiri.
Then with thick sugar syrup, the panjiri is molded into fudge-like squares. This is an optional step. After the festival, you can relish leftover panjiri with a hot cup of tea as a sweet treat.
Ingredients for this panjiri recipe are easily available in local supermarkets, and grocery stores, or you can order them via Amazon Pantry and other online portals.
Lotus seeds – also known as foxnuts or makhana
Desiccated Coconut – you can use packaged or fresh desiccated coconut.
Dry Fruits – almonds, pistachio, peanuts
Edible Gum – herbal gum or the gond is the key ingredient in this panjiri recipe
Spices – whole coriander seeds (dhaniya), carom seeds (ajwain/omam), dry ginger powder (saunth), turmeric powder (optional), green cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
Ghee – if you want to make it vegan panjiri, use coconut oil
Sweetener – add only a tablespoon of sugar if you are planning to add sugar syrup. If not, then add ¼ cup powdered sugar.
Sugar Syrup – it is optional to give panjiri a barfi/fudge-like shape. You can make it like a pinni ladoo or as a mixture.
My Tried & True Tips
This is a Pahadi style panjiri recipe. hence, the method and ingredients are slightly different from the Punjabi Panjiri.
Make sure to sun-dry all the spices, dry fruits, and herbal gum a day or two before making the panjiri. This process increases the shelf life of the sweet.
Do not dry roast the spices for too long especially carom seeds. Else, they will taste bitter.
Fry ingredients in batches and separately as suggested in the panjiri recipe and not all together.
Panjiri always has a coarse texture. Hence, do not make a fine powder of the ingredients.
Adding turmeric is optional. In Pahadi style panjiri, turmeric is a must ingredient.
If you are not adding sugar syrup, add ¼ cup powdered white sugar or jaggery powder. Reduce the amount of sugar if planning to add syrup.
After grinding ingredients to a coarse powder, you can serve panjiri as a mixture. If you are keen to make panjiri ladoo or barfi, then only add sugar syrup.
You can store panjiri for a month in an airtight container.
More Indian Festival Recipes
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Pahadi Panjiri Recipe
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 200 gram (1 Cup) lotus nuts (foxnuts or makhana)
- 100 gram (½ Cup) desiccated coconut
- ¼ Cup almonds
- ¼ Cup pistachio
- ¼ Cup peanuts
- 1 tablespoon edible or herbal gum (gond)
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhaniya)
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 2 teaspoon dry ginger powder (saunth)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
- 4 tablespoon ghee
Ingredients for the sugar syrup
- 2 Cup sugar
- ½ Cup water
- To prepare the Panjiri, a day before sun-dry all the dry fruits and edible gum. Store in an air-tight container.
- In a pan dry roast ajwain and coriander seeds till the aroma is released. This usually takes 20 – 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and grind to a coarse powder in a mixer. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat one tablespoon ghee in a heavy bottom kadhai over medium flame. Add gond/gum, fry till it pops up and expands in size absorbing the ghee. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat remaining ghee in the same skillet. Fry together lotus seeds, peanuts, dry fruits till they are crisp and crunchy. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate. Let the roasted nuts cool down a bit.
- Now in mixer make a coarse powder of roasted lotus seeds, dry fruits, peanuts, fried gond. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, ginger powder, turmeric powder, powdered sugar, coriander seeds powder. Combine all together. Panjiri is ready for prasad.
- To make sugar syrup, heat sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir till the sugar dissolves.
- Let the sugar syrup simmer over medium heat. We need thick 1 to 2 thread consistency sugar syrup. A little bit thicker sugar syrup than what we need for Gulab Jamun.
- Keep on checking the sugar syrup if it has reach the desired consistency.
- Grease a large square baking sheet with a teaspoon of ghee.
- Once sugar syrup is ready, turn off the heat. Add the powdered ingredients mixture in the warm sugar syrup. Stir to combine.
- Spread the mixture in the baking tray of an inch thickness. Using a spatula or lightly wet fingers even out the surface of the mixture.
- At this stage, you can keep the tray in the fridge to get set or leave at room temperature as well. I usually keep it in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes. Once panjiri is set, using a sharp knife cut into squares.
- Store panjiri in an airtight container. The shelf life of Panjiri is usually a month or so.
- This is a Pahadi style panjiri recipe. Adding turmeric is optional. In Pahadi style panjiri, turmeric is a must ingredient.
- Make sure to sun-dry all the spices, dry fruits, and the herbal gum a day or two before making the panjiri.
- Do not dry roast the spices for too long especially carom seeds. Else, they will taste bitter.
- Fry ingredients in batches and separately as suggested in the panjiri recipe and not all together.
- If you are not adding sugar syrup, then add ¼ cup powdered sugar in the panjiri mixture.
- Do not make a fine powder of the ingredients. Keep them coarse.
- You can store panjiri for a month at room temperature in an airtight container.