Panjeeri (or Panjiri) is a tasty Pakistani/Indian postpartum healing and lactation food that is perfect for providing nourishment and energy to new moms. Since panjeeri is considered a ‘hot’ or warming food, it’s also eaten during winter to replenish and strengthen the body.
Though panjeeri recipes vary based on region and family, this is a long-standing, traditional version made with a base of ghee, whole wheat atta flour, semolina (sooji), dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
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 immediately 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 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 adapt the ingredients to your taste and individual needs!
Update: Since then, I re-tested this recipe several times, perfected, and updated accordingly.
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, it’s often overlooked how much healing women really need. That’s why I turn to traditional ayurvedic foods that consider the postpartum nutritional needs of recovering and nursing women.
Panjeeri is similar to 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!
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), fox nuts (phool makhana), and powdered jaggery (gur) in many South Asian grocery stores (try calling before making the trip) or online, but feel free to omit ingredients you can’t find. Here’s a shot of the ingredients.
Clockwise From left:
Fox Nuts (Phool Makhana)
Flax Seeds (not a traditional ingredient so I’ve left it optional)
Edible gum (Goond)
In the middle are:
Flame of forest (kamarkas).
Tips for Making Panjeeri
- 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 rawness 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.
- Clean off the pan as you go. If you find bits of the ingredients are sticking to the bottom, wipe your pan with a paper towel or rinse it. Then return to heat and continue cooking.
Tips for Eating & Storing Panjeeri
- 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!
- This is not a doctor’s note but I believe since Panjeeri is a ‘warming’ food and is said to clear out the uterus, it should not be eaten in large quantities if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
- Store panjeeri in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 4 weeks. You can also freeze it immediately after making and then thaw at room temperature when ready to use.
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). For a vegan panjeeri, substitute the ghee with coconut oil.
Other ingredients you can use include melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, cardamom powder, ginger powder, and fennel seeds.
I truly hope and pray this recipe benefits new moms and anyone looking to strengthen their bodies. If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment below! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. Thank you!
Panjeeri – Postpartum Healing and Lactation Recipe
- ghee as needed
- 2/3 cup (100 grams) almonds
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts, pistachios, or cashews or a combination of nuts
- 2-3 tbsp (25-40 g) edible gum (goond)
- 1 1/2-2 cups (20-25 grams) fox nuts (phool makhana)
- 2/3 cup heaped (90 grams) golden raisins
- 2/3 cup (65 g) desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp flax seeds optional
- 1 tbsp (10 g) flame of forest (kamarkas)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) fine semolina (sooji)
- 1 cup (120 grams) South Asian whole wheat Atta flour
- 1/2 cup powdered jaggery and/or organic cane sugar or more to taste
- In a large pan, heat 1-2 tbsp ghee over medium heat and add the almonds. Roast for a few minutes until they are lightly golden. Remove the almonds with a slotted spoon, and add the walnuts or mixed nuts. Roast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden, then remove and set aside in the same bowl as the almonds. Be careful not to over-roast because the nuts may become bitter.
- Add another 1-2 tbsp of ghee, and add the edible gum crystals (goond). Roast for 4-5 minutes or until the edible gum crystals have about doubled in size. Set these aside along with the nuts (you will be grinding these together later in a food processor). Clean the pan as needed.
- Add 2 tbsp of ghee, and add the fox nuts (phool makhana). Roast for 4-5 minutes and remove onto another bowl.
- If needed, add another tablespoon of ghee, then add the raisins and roast for 2-3 minutes until they puff up and begin to change color. Remove and set aside.
- Lower the heat to low-medium, add the coconut flakes and lightly toast them for about a minute, or until they start to become lightly golden. Add the flax seeds to the coconut flakes, mix, and then remove and set aside.
- Raise the heat back up to medium and add flame of forest (kamarkas) to the pan and toast for 2-3 minutes, adding ghee if needed. Remove and add them to the large bowl. Wipe the pan to clear any remaining bits.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of ghee and add the semolina. Stir the semolina, frequently at first and more continuously toward the end of roasting so that it roasts evenly. Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until it turns golden. Remove from heat and set aside. Clean off the semolina and ghee from the pan.
- In a food processor, add the fox nuts and process to chop until they have a coarse, crunchy consistency. Remove and set aside. Add the mixed nuts and edible gum crystals into the food processor and pulse to chop until they have the same coarse, crunchy consistency. You want these to be grainy but not fine like a powder or processed to the point of a nut-butter consistency. Remove and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all the prepared ingredients (atta flour, semolina, fox nuts, mixed nuts & edible gum, coconut & flax seeds, flame of forest, edible gum) and mix everything well to combine. Add the powdered jaggery (and/or cane sugar) and mix it again. Taste and adjust sweetness, as desired. If you feel that the mixture is dry or hard to down, feel free to add ghee. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.