Panakam,Panaka – Traditional Indian Drink (Summer Cooler)

Today is Sri Rama Navami,an important festival especially among the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. Sri Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (Chaitra Masam) and is observed as the wedding day of Lord Rama and Sita as well as the birthday of Lord Rama.This day also marks the end of the nine day Utsavam called Vasanthothsavam (festival of spring), that starts with Ugadi.Read more about Sri Rama Navami festival.Today we prepare Panakam (Telugu) or Panaka (hindi), a festive sweet drink and a summer cooler prepared with jaggery and flavored with dry ginger,cardamom and pepper.We also prepare Vada Pappu (split yellow moong dal) with Chalimidi (rice flour based sweet) as naivedyam or prasadam.

Panakam Recipe
2-3 tbsps grated jaggery
2 glasses water
pinch of dry ginger pwd
1 coarsely crushed cardamom
2 coarsely crushed pepper corns

Mix the grated jaggery in water and let it dissolve completely. Filter the jaggery water. Add dried ginger powder, crushed cardamom and crushed pepper. Mix well and serve it at room temperature or chilled.

Sometimes during the hot season I serve this traditional Indian drink as a summer cooler or a welcome drink to quench the thirst and its cooling properties helps to cool our system too. This age-old simple recipe has the luxury of the cardamom flavor,the sharp heat of the pepper and ginger pwd blending with the sweet flavor of jaggery water which is so refreshing that you can have 2-3 glasses at one go and still be asking for more. :)

Note: Ginger, Pepper and Sonti (dry ginger) are traditionally recommended by Ayurvedic Nutrition to heal ailments of the stomach and throat and especially recommended as home remedies for cold and cough.

Vada Pappu And Chalimidi

Vada pappu is split yellow moong dal (pesara pappu) soaked in water for half an hour and strained. This dal is not cooked and is eaten along with chalimidi.

Chalimidi is prepared by soaking raw rice in water for 4-5 hours, strained and the rice is spread out on a dry cloth and left to dry completely before being ground to a fine powder. To this rice powder (1 cup), add grated jaggery (1/2 cup) and coarsely crushed elachi (2). Wet your hands and mix the ingredients well till you get a smooth soft dough like consistency. Chalimidi is to be eaten in combination with vada pappu.

Panakam is my favorite traditional summer drink after majjiga which is made not only as a festive sweet drink but also as a summer cooler and adds to my list of Indian Drinks And Sharbats.For those who havent tried panakam as yet,do try it and you will love it for sure. :)

Panakam,Panaka – Traditional Indian Drink (Summer Cooler)

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Serves:

Main Ingredients:

  1. jaggery



Today is Sri Rama Navami,an important festival especially among the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. Sri Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (Chaitra Masam) and is observed as...


I'm a food blogger, food photographer and organic gardener based out of India. I enjoy cooking for my family using fresh produce from my vegetable garden and farmer's market. I love to try out various cuisines and perfect my cooking skills. I believe that hard work, self-discipline, and a positive attitude cannot help but reap a harvest of fantastic results. Say hello and join me on Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    Sriramanavami Subhakankshalu Sailaja. You made my day with the panakam recipe. Meeru chala adrushtavantulu, anni pandagalu chakkaga celebrate chesukuntunnaru. May Lord Srirama bless you and your family with prosperity, joy and love.

  • Lakshmi

    Happy Sri Rama Navami Sailaja

  • BDSN

    Happy Sri Rama Navami to u sailu!!Ur pictures look very classic and very traditional…I missed two of ur earlier posts and i want to tell u the pictures r very lovely..i might want to try ur palakailu but gonna make them round shaped balls..:)..just for fun…

  • Tanuja

    Happy Sree Rama Navami sailu:)

    chalimidi wada pappu panakam looks good.

  • Vineela

    Hi Sailu,

  • Nandita

    Dear Sailu
    Must thank you for bringing us closer to culture
    Many regards

  • Santhi

    happy srirama navami sailu….

  • Rita

    Dear Sailu,

    Happy Sri Ramanavami to you. Thank you for writing these recipes, and
    bringing me close to home.

    Your pictures and presentation is very beautiful. God bless your family.


  • Ashwini

    Lovely recipe. And photos.

  • ammani

    I cannot believe I missed Srirama Navami yesterday. This recipe reminded me of it. :(

  • sailu

    Happy Sri Rama Navami!
    Thank you all for you wishes and nice comments..:)

  • KrishnaArjuna

    I have tagged you for a meme :-)

  • Menu Today

    Your pictures aree great..
    I like panagam and vadapappu.
    We also make during ramanavami and tamil new years day…

  • Tweety

    Telugu at its authentic best!

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  • Rama

    Thanks a lot for Panakam recipe. Can u please tell me how to make Panchamrutham. My email id is Awaiting your reply.


  • kavitha


  • Suresh

    Hi…Srirama Navami Subhakanksalu and Thans for saving Indian culture in the fast running world…Thanks for saving th Indian recips…

  • swetha


  • Maya

    Hi Shailu, please can you suggest the Kannada equivalent for ‘Chalimidi’ sweet. I need to order the sweetshop man to make it in bulk and am unsure of the sweet name!

  • sailaja

    Happy Srirama Navami…..

  • sri

    Happy Sri Rama Navami!!

  • Sita

    Lovely! Made paanakam and vada pappu :)

    I heard from my Kannadiga friend that there are variations in making vada pappu.
    I.e. either with chana dal or mung dal, and can add grated mango/coconut/cucumber and finely chopped green mirchi & kari patta, along with seasoning of hing, mustard and jeera!

    I love your blog. I was brought up in Mumbai, mother tongue is telugu and knew nothing of cooking, forget telugu traditional cooking. I check your blog for all telugu recipes :)