Saturday, September 2, 2017

Panchamrut

Many a times, when mention 'Panchamrut' we mistake this dish to the traditional Panchamrut which consists of Milk, Yogurt, Ghee, Honey and Sugar. However, in Maharashtrian cuisine, Panchamrut is also served as a side dish along with the traditional meal and is not made from any of the abovementioned ingredients.  Panchamrut is a sweet, sour and spicy dish made with a combination of nuts and spices.

The word 'Panchamrut' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Pancha' which means five and 'Amrit' which means immortal nectar of Gods. As the name suggests, Panchamrut is a blend of five tastes and is made from five major ingredients. This recipe differs from region to region with some minor alterations. 

Panchamrut is not an everyday delicacy and is reserved for special Maharashtrian festive occasions. 

Approx. Time: 20 - 25 minutes (excluding pre-preparation)

Yield: Approx. 3 cups 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Dried Coconut slices
1/4 cup chopped Green Chillies
1/2 cup roasted Peanuts (peel removed)
1/4 cup Cashew nuts
1/4 cup Golden Raisins and Black Raisins (Black raisins optional)
1/2 cup Roasted Sesame Seeds powder
1 cup Tamarind pulp / Tamarind Extract (चिंचेचा कोळ)
1 to 2 cups Water
tbspn Maharashtrian Black Masala (Goda Masala) 
1/2 cup Jaggery 
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
2 tbspns Vegetable Oil 
1/2 tspn Mustard Seeds
1/4 tspn Asafoetida Powder
1/2 tspn Turmeric Powder
10-12 Curry leaves

Method:
Pre-Preparation:
1. To extract 1 cup of Tamarind Pulp, take half cup of Tamarind pods in a bowl.  Add a cup of warm water to it. Soak it for approx. 15-20 minutes or till the tamarind softens. Mash the Tamarind and strain the pulp. Discard the black coloured seeds and the fibrous part. The output you get after straining is the Tamarind pulp.
2. To make Sesame Seeds Powder, dry roast half a cup of Sesame Seeds in a pan till it turns crisp. Once it cools down, blend it in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
3. To roast Peanuts, add peanuts to a pan. Stir it frequently on a medium flame. Roast it till it turns light brown and then allow it to cool. Ensure that the Peanuts does not over roasted.

To make Panchamrut:
Heat oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is heated, add the Mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the Asafoetida powder, Turmeric Powder and Curry leaves. Then add the chopped Green Chillies and dried Coconut slices. Cook the Coconut slices for 2-3 minutes. Then add the Tamarind pulp and water. Bring it to a boil. 

Add the roasted Peanuts, Cashew nuts, Golden and black raisins, roasted Sesame Seeds powder and simmer. Adjust the consistency by adding water, if required. Simmer it for a while so that the nuts become slightly soft. Finally add the Maharashtrian Black Masala (Goda Masala), Jaggery and salt to taste. Cook it on medium heat to get the desired consistency. It should neither be very thick or nor watery. Switch off the flame and serve at room temperature. 

Notes:
1. Panchamrut has a shelf life of 5-6 days. It can be stored in an air-tight container. 

Stepwise Pictures:

























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