Whenever I returned back from hostel, I was greeted by aroma of panjiri that mom made earlier in the day to welcome me after months of hostel food. Panjiri is slow roasted atta (whole wheat flour) massaged with ghee till each speck of flour is moistened and then mixed with all sorts of nuts, seeds, and flavors depending on home to home. We make a few kinds, one which is to eaten post partum with edible gum and all, one which is simpler and mostly kept in the house as a snack and another kind which is made as an offering on festivals.
This morning I made panjiri for it is one of my favorite things to keep around the house during cooler months. I am old fashioned when it comes to snacks, I like the snacks that grandma used to make, ladoos, nut mixes and panjiri 🙂 if eaten in moderation(which I tell you is harder than you think), these snacks are quite wholesome things to feed to your body. I want kids to have a taste of these traditional recipes and develop a sense of appreciation.
It is a work of patience to slow roast the atta in iron kadai, till each grain is turned golden brown. Another kind of patience is to wait till the roasted atta is just rightly cooled down and ready to be mixed with ghee, for if too hot you cannot massage well, and if too cold, you won’t get the right texture- those small granules you see, thats the right texture. Use any selections nuts or raisins as you like. You can add cardamom powder to it,I don’t coz I like to keep the aroma of roasted flour.
- 1.5 cups of atta(whole wheat flour)
- 1/3 cup- 1/2 cup ghee, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, don’t use confectioner sugar, we can’t a grainy texture (can go upto 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup whole alomnds
- 1/2 cup makhana
- 1 -2 tbsp mishri (rock sugar)
In a heavy wide pan/large iron kadai, add the atta. On low heat, stirring often, roast the atta. It will take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to roast the atta. Rushing will give a raw taste to the atta so avoid doing so.
Once the atta is roasted, transfer it to a wide bowl. Let sit. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp ghee to the same kadai and roast the almonds in it for 2 minutes. Transfer the almonds to the same bowl as you put the atta in. Again add 2 tbsp of ghee to the kadai, and slow roast the makhana in it stirring often. Transfer to the same bowl.
Wait for 5-7 minutes till atta is warm to touch but not cold. Add the sugar. Start adding soft ghee to the atta and massaging it with hands. Incorporate ghee slowly and keep mixing. To check if the right amount of ghee has been added, try to make a ball of the atta, it should bind together loosely into a ball/laddu alike
Mix in the rock sugar and nuts (you can chop or slice or crush the nuts) and any flavorings if using. Store in an air tight container for upto 3 weeks.