Panagam or panaka, made with jaggery, lime juice, dry ginger powder and cardamom is common in South Indian homes during the summer months. This refreshing, traditional drink is strongly tied to Ram Navami festival; it is one of the offerings to Lord Rama. This can also be your perfect drink during the summers.
1/2 cup crushed jaggery
3 to 4 cups water
3 tablespoon lemon juice or more as per your preference
1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder or more as per your preference
3 to 4 cardamom pods, seeds removed and coarsely crushed or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns ( optional)
Add a cup of water to the crushed jaggery and stir well until it dissolves. Strain the jaggery water to remove any impurities or sand particles.
Add the remaining water, lemon juice, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder and black peppercorns. Stir well. Taste and adjust the amount of water/lemon juice/spices as per your taste preference.
Let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve it at room temperature or chilled.
The amount of water varies depending on the quality and the variety of jaggery used. Accordingly, adjust the rest of the spices used.
Using water from an earthen pot makes it more refreshing.
Crush the jaggery pieces with your hand or add 1/2 a cup of warm water if the jaggery does not dissolve easily.
The colour of the drink may vary depending on the jaggery variety.