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Panakam/Panagam, Neer Mor/ Flavored Buttermilk And Cucumber Kosmalli/ Cucumber Lentil Salad For Rama Navami

Written By FewMinute Wonders on Saturday, March 31, 2012 | 4:43 PM

Rama Navami is a celebration of the birth of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu and a popular king who ruled Ayodhya. The seventh avatar of Vishnu taught human race about respect, value, love, responsibility, peace, valour, friendship, truth and honesty. In spite of all the challenges he faced being born a man, Rama was a model human being.

In the Indian tradition prasadham (food offerings), for each celebration is very distinct. On Rama Navami,
panakam, neer mor and cucumber kosmalli is offered as prasadham. It got me thinking as to why we offered panakam, need mor and cucumber kosmalli as offerings. Is it because Rama liked them according to myth or is there more to it.

Here are a few reasons I have come up with after collectively discussing this with friends and family :

 Firstly, Rama was born in the month of Chitrai ( Summer) on Navami thithi (the 9th day from new moon) and Punarvasu Nakshatra (star). The weather in India is expected to be very warm during this time. Hence the best type of food offering in that climate is something liquidy, cooling and hydrating. Why panakam and neer mor in particular? Because panakam and neer mor have sugars and salts that act as electrolytes.

Secondly, Panakam is a sweet drink made with jaggery. Jaggery dissolving in water is symbolic of problems melting away from our lives.

An alternative explanation is that Panakam reduces body heat and balances pitta (a dosha in ayurveda) of the body. When pitta is imbalanced, it cause irritation and anger in people. Neer mor and cucumber kosmalli cool the body and aid digestion, provide protein and fiber for the people who fast all day long during Ramanavami. Since Rama was the personification of calmness, the food offering was intended on establishing calmness and hence help in developing Rama-like qualities.

Serves one

Measuring cup and Measuring Spoons

Water - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 tbsp ( If the jaggery is not very sweet please add some more)
Cardamon - 1 pod
Dry Ginger Powder - a pinch or two
Lemon Juice - a few drops

1. Mix the powdered jaggery in the water. Add dry ginger powder, cardamon pods, lemon juice. Mix and serve as prasadham.

Neer Mor/ Buttermilk:
Serves 0ne
Measuring Cup and Spoons

Curds/ Yogurt  - 1/4 cup or Buttermilk ( Store Bought) - 1/4 cup
Curry Leaves - 2 leaves
Asafoetida Powder - a pinch
Water - 3/4 cup

1. In a bowl add the ripped curry leaves, salt, asafetida and roughly mix it with your fingers. Add yogurt or butter milk and give it a good mix. Add water and mix well. Serve as prasadham.

Note: Addition of chillies, ginger, seasoning of mustard were all some additions people make to this basic drink.

Cucumber Kosmalli / Cucumber Salad:
Makes a cup
Cutting Board
Measuring Cup and Spoon
Seasoning Wok

Persian Cucumber - 1
Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 1
Ginger - 1/4 freshly grated
Coconut - 1 tbsp grated
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida Powder - a pinch
Cilantro - 1 tbsp minced
Water - 1 cup
Lemon juice - a dash

1. Soak the moong dal in water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and add to the bowl.

2. Heat the seasoning wok with oil. Add asafetida, mustard seeds and green chillies. Allow the mustard seeds to pop before adding to the bowl over the dal.

3. Cut the cucumber into small cubes. Mix it with dal. Garnish with cilantro and a dash of lemon.


  1. panakam is something new to me. cucumber salad looks fantastic. nice recipes

  2. Happy Sri Rama Navami... Lovely pics

  3. I had panakam at the temple today. It was amazing. I wanted to make it but had no lime. Bad planning on my part.

  4. Happy Sri Rama Navami to you Srimathi. Lovely 4-in-1 post.

    And thanks for your tip. My dad tells me the same(he has for the oast 4 yeras) and I am yet to go look for the local farmer's market. Pehaps I should. People say, as the years progress, allergies are only going to become severe. So I have to atleast do my part in preventing it. So I will go lookout for local honey.

  5. The pooja is nice.Happy Sri Rama Navami.

  6. mmm, yum! the pics are just fabulous... happy sri rama navami dear..

  7. lovely presentation..

  8. Nice healthy spread, everything looks great.

  9. Nice presentation and good explanation..

  10. wonderful post, never knew these were Lord Rama's favourites :)..sure all are refreshing and act as coolants :) excellent clicks dear :)

  11. You are a talented person to come up with a recipe like this one. I'm so happy you decided to share it with the world. :-D

  12. Perfect clicks. Nice blog here. Please visit my blog too when you get time.

  13. wonderful post and nice clicks :) Felt I was transported to Thretha yugam reading this post... Happy to follow you as well.

    regarding the Magic Mingle that you wanted to join us, please mail me your email ID so I could add you from May 2012 onwards. Thanks !

    Sizzling Tastebuds
    Event : Pickles & Preserves Fest + Giveaway
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