The other day, I posted a few videos on Instagram showing the process of making Panjeeri. I was making it for my sister, who is all set to have her baby this coming week (!!).
I casually asked anyone interested in the recipe to message me – This was my first time making it, so I wasn’t planning to share it on the blog. Quite unexpectedly, I got over 50 requests for the recipe!
Among these requests were new moms (congrats!), moms-to-be (watch movies while you can!), and women who wanted to make it for their loved ones (props to you – it takes a village!). Due to my incoming nephew, I’m extra emotional these days and I couldn’t resist immediately sharing this recipe complete with tips, FAQs, and of course, pictures!
I usually hesitate to give recipes I haven’t tested several times, but I realized that making panjeeri is more about the technique rather than the exact measurements. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste!
Update: Since then, I re-tested this recipe and updated as required.
Panjeeri – A Traditional Healing Food
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I truly believe in traditional South Asian food wisdom. Our ancestors may not have studied the compounds of food in laboratories, but they observed the effects it had on their bodies. Using that wisdom, they made food that was healing, nourishing, and appropriate for individual needs and requirements.
Labor is very taxing to the body. In Western culture, I think it’s often overlooked how much healing women really need. That’s why I turn to traditional Pakistani & Indian foods that consider the postpartum nutritional needs of recovering and nursing women.
Panjeeri is kind of like muesli or granola, except next-level healthy (proudly biased opinion). It’s a mashup of whole-wheat flour (atta), fine semolina, nuts, seeds, and herbs. You basically roast the entire South Asian/superfood section of your pantry in ghee, mix it all up, and you’ve got panjeeri!
Since it’s considered a ‘hot’ or warming food, it’s also eaten during winter to replenish and strengthen the body.
Tips for Making (and Eating) Panjeeri
- Sourcing the ingredients for making Panjeeri may seem harder than making the Panjeeri itself. You can find edible gum (goond), flame of the forest (kamarkas), and powdered jaggery (gur) in many South Asian grocery stores (try calling before making the trip) or online on Amazon, but feel free to omit and add ingredients as you wish.
- Ghee is vital in Panjeeri. Be generous with it. It’s what makes the Panjeeri easy to eat and digest. Too little ghee makes panjeeri a bit dry and hard to down.
- The key to roasting everything well is to keep the heat at medium or below and be patient with it. You want to remove any ‘raw’ness from the ingredients so that it brings out the flavor and health-giving properties. But over-roasting will cause the nuts, seeds, etc. to become bitter.
- Try not to over-process the nuts and edible gum once they’re roasted. If you blend them too long, you’ll get a nut-butter consistency. For panjeeri, we want a grainy consistency.
- Eat panjeeri in moderation. A tablespoon here, a small bowl there. It’s caloric (in the best way), nutrient-dense, and filling, so a little goes a long way. Keep it on your bedside and snack on it whenever the mood strikes, which will be often because it’s so tasty!
Variations: For a gluten-free version, I would substitute ground lentils and chickpea flour (called gram flour or besan in Urdu/Hindi) for the semolina and whole wheat (atta).
Other ingredients you can use include melon seeds, chia seeds, cardamom powder, and fennel seeds.
Also, this is not a doctor’s note but I believe since Panjeeri is so warming, it should not be eaten in large quantities if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
I truly hope and pray this recipe benefits new moms and anyone looking to strengthen their body. Please let me know if you try this recipe!
Panjeeri – Postpartum Healing and Lactation Recipe
Panjeeri (or Panjiri) is a tasty traditional Pakistani/Indian postpartum healing and lactation food that is perfect for new moms and for strengthening the body.
- ghee as needed
- 2/3 cup (110 grams) almonds
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts (or cashews or pistachios)
- 100 grams 3.5 oz edible gum (goond)
- 2/3 cup 100 grams golden raisins
- 1 1/3 cup (20 grams) phool makhana (fox nuts) optional
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp flame of forest (kamarkas)
- 3/4 cup fine semolina (sooji)
- 1 cup (120 grams) South Asian whole wheat (atta)
- powdered jaggery or organic cane sugar to taste
In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee over medium-high heat and add the almonds. Roast for a few minutes until they are lightly golden. Remove the almonds, add a tsp more ghee to the pan and add the walnuts. Roast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the walnuts and set aside in the same bowl as the almonds. Reduce the heat to medium and be careful not to over-roast because the nuts as they may become bitter.
Add another 2 tbsp of ghee, and add the edible gum crystals (goond). Roast on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the edible gum crystals have about doubled in size and fully 'cooked'. Set these aside along with the nuts (you will be grinding these later in a food processor).
Add 2 tbsp of ghee, and add the phool makhana (fox nuts), if using. Roast for 4-5 minutes and remove onto the bowl with the nuts.
Heat another tablespoon of ghee, and add the raisins. Roast the raisins for 2-3 minutes until they puff up and begin to change color. Remove and place them in a large bowl.
Reduce the heat to low-medium and add the flax seeds and roast in the remaining ghee for about a minute. Add the coconut flakes and lightly toast them for 1-2 minutes until they start to become lightly golden. Remove the flax seeds and coconut and add them to the large bowl.
Raise the heat back up to medium and add flame of forest (kamarkas) to the pan and toast for a 2-3 minutes, adding ghee if needed. Remove and add them to the large bowl.
Add 2 tbsp of ghee and add the semolina. Stir the semolina continuously until it roasts evenly and turns golden in color, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the large bowl and allow to cool. Clean off the semolina and ghee from the pan.
Lower the a little less than medium and add the whole wheat (atta) to the pan. Stir the atta, frequently at first and more continuously toward the end of roasting so that it roasts evenly. Dry-roast for at 15-17 minutes, or until the atta turns lightly golden, completely 'cooked', and starts to release a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, grind the nuts and edible gum crystals in a food processor until crushed. You want it to be fine and grainy but don't over-process or to the point of a nut-butter consistency. Add this ground mixture to the large bowl.
Add the cooled atta to the large bowl along with powdered jaggery (or sugar) and mix everything very well. Taste and adjust sweetness, as desired.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Makes a little over 1 1/2 pounds.