Panjiri

Panjiri

Recipe |

5 min Preparation Time |

25 min Cooking Time |

Panjiri

Panjiri

Recipe |

5 min Preparation Time |

25 min Cooking Time |

About this recipe

A sweet, buttery crumble with rivaling nutty notes, this panjiri recipe is one of the tastier postpartum foods I had as a new mom. It’s now a family breakfast thing — we eat a spoon or two straight up, or sprinkle it over porridge or smoothies. Panjiri comes from undivided Punjab and, according to archaeologist and anthropologist Kurush Dalal, may date back at least 2,000 years. Panjiri even finds mention in the Mahan Kosh, the first Punjabi language encyclopedia compiled in the early 20th century. Traditional recipes call for toasted wheat flour, gond (edible gum), dried fruit and nuts, and a mix of warming, digestive spices such as cumin, aniseed, coriander seeds, and saunth (dried ginger). Panjiri recipes change with every village and home across the subcontinent. This version from the southwestern Karwar region uses suji (semolina) instead of wheat flour. It also skips the usual spices, as the same spice mix goes into a postpartum confinement tea made in the region.

The Benefits

An artisanal nutritional supplement of yore, panjiri need only be added in small quantities to your family’s diet — especially for young children or pregnant and nursing mothers — to reap the health benefits of its macro and micronutrients, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds. While whole wheat flour is the traditional North Indian choice, the semolina base in this recipe — milled from durum wheat — is higher in protein and minerals such as iron, zinc, and potassium.

Note: While you can use the approximate volume measurements provided for this recipe, volume may vary widely depending on the size and type of nuts and dried fruit you are using. We recommend using the weight measurements if possible; if not, go ahead and use volume — this recipe is quite forgiving.

This version of panjiri relies on dates and raisins for sweetness. Increase their quantity or add a sweetener of your choice if you’d like it sweeter. You can customize this recipe by adding ingredients such as peanuts, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and tiny quantities of your preferred spices. 

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Photo by Thomas George