panaka {lemon & saffron drink}


Another summer cooler made on the occasion of Ramanavami.


Ramanavami and Panaka are so synonymous. If you are from the South of India then this does not need a special introduction. So Ramanavami is supposed to be the day when Lord Rama was born, taking the avatar of human god . This is a important festival celebrated by puja and also a small idol of the Lord is made to sit in a cradle. The cradle is swung and songs adorning the Lord is harmoniously rendered. The main prasada for the day is ‘kosambri’ (salad of cucumber and yellow mung beans) , follows by the refreshingly cooling ‘Panaka’. Every house celebrating this festival makes the same prasada and it was such a feast to attend those festivities. If we look at the way the Indian festival foods are composed ages back is amazing. The kosambri made with cucumber and moong , both of them have cooling effect on our body . The Panaka made of lemon,saffron with water is very hydrating for those hot summers. What an amazing knowledge our elders had and today we are so much lost in this fast food world. Anyways there is this another amazing fruit that is called ‘Belada Hannu’ in Kannada or Wood Apple in English. It is hard like a ball and when its opened , you have a clump of fruit. This fruit has a wood kind of flavour , may be that is where it got its name from. This inside pulp is squeezed in water and saffron , jaggery , cardamom is added and served during ramanavami.This fruit is loaded with vitamins and many healing properties. For the Panaka,I have used organic jaggery. Organic jaggery is more dark in colour since it is not processed. It is full of iron and is very tasty too. If you are not fond of jaggery then sugar can be used too.


makes 4 servings

Juice of 3 lemons
4-5 Pods of cardamom powdered
1 cup of Organic powdered Jaggery
1 big pinch of Saffron
1 tablespoon of Ginger grated
4 cups of Water


  • ​In a jug , add water.
  • Add lemon juice, powdered cardamom, saffron , ginger juice , jaggery.
  • Stir till the jaggery melts.
  • ​Serve it chilled !!

Note – adding jaggery gives extra boost and the traditional way it’s made too. But feel free to use sugar instead.
Adjust the sweetness according to your taste.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s