My Dadima (grandmother) had been cooking an Indian delicacy called panjiri for as long as I can remember. In my family it conjures up many feelings. Panjiri gives nourishment and warmth, wakes your taste buds and reminds you of home no matter where you are.
Growing up, I would marvel at the magical quality of Dadima’s cooking and felt comforted by her kindness and patience. In a fast paced world, my Dadima inspires me to stay grounded in my values.
When I asked my Dadima about what she considers success, her answer was knowing that her children are nourished. My Dadima is famous for her panjiri recipe and it was one of the treats she always fed her family.
I grew up knowing that panjiri is good for new mums. This is what my grandparents told me and what their parents had told them in India. My dadima says that there was an unquestioned trust in the wisdom of elders.
Dadima’s stories about food reveal so much about our history. Her food saw it all-laughter at family gatherings and tears of hardship and struggle. Learning cooking from my Dadima has opened up so much of her story and past to me. Food has always been the bridge between us.
Now I want to share this timeless family dish with you.
Panjiri is not widely known outside the Indian and Pakistani communities, but I wanted to bring more awareness to this super food in an age when there’s so many energy balls, bites and bars.
Here’s five reasons why Dadima made panjiri for every new mother in my extended family.
Essential Fats and Energy
Panjiri contains ghee, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and coconut-all healthy fats. According to Ayurveda, ghee aids digestion, lubricates joints and acts as a carrier for nutrients around the body. The fat and energy are also believed to balance mood.
Warms the Body
Most of the 13 ingredients in my Dadima’s recipe-like the ginger powder and almonds-are garam which means that they warm the body from the inside and this assists healing and natural recovery.
High in Fiber and Aids Digestion
My Dadima focused on the importance of a healthy digestive tract and the process of daily elimination. A lot of thought goes into the therapeutic qualities of each ingredient and how it can benefit the new mother. This is why ghee is used, along with fennel and carom seeds which are known to combat wind and assist digestion.
Aids Breastmilk Production
Fennel seeds in panjiri are believed to help with the production of breastmilk.
Helps the Uterus Contract
An ingredient called Gum Arabic is believed to help clear the uterus of excess fluids after birth and help it contract.
Tell us, what did you eat after you gave birth to help you regain your strength and energy?
Disclaimer: One cannot rely on panjiri in itself to for post-pregnancy recovery, although it is known to assist. Panjiri should not be treated as a dietary supplement. Consult a doctor before incorporating panjiri into your diet if you are unsure. The information shared here is based on research of Ayurvedic principles, word of mouth knowledge and personal research.