Panchamrut is a traditional dish and part of a typical Maharashtrian Wedding thali. It is a sweet, sour and spicy dish made with a combination of nuts, herbs and spices. Peanuts, sesame seeds and fresh coconut are considered as the main ingredients in making of this dish.
Panchamrut is a dish having a medley of flavours and the combinations of the sweetness from jaggery, raisins, coconut pieces, spiciness from red chilli powder, green chillies and the special spice mix from Maharashtrian cuisine, Goda masala and the nutty flavours from the cashew nut pieces, sesame seeds and peanuts are extremely divine and outstanding. They blend meticulously together and highlight each and every ingredient in the dish.
Generally many of us mistake this dish to the actual traditional Panchamrut which is usually prepared during poojas and ritual celebrations or offered at the temples. There is a vast difference in the ingredients added to both the Panchamrut. But the taste or the flavour is believed to be similar as they both have the sweet, tangy, spicy flavours in them. The name of this dish derives its name from two distinct Sanskirt words ‘pancha’ and ‘amrita’. ‘Pancha’ translates to five in Sanskrit whereas ‘Amrit’ translated to immortal, nectar of gods etc. This dish is a quintessential part of any Hindu’s collective conscience. Hence there is confusion just by the name of the dish. But there are many Panchamrut recipe variations regional wise.
Usually it is considered and as the name suggests, that Panchamrut indicates the presence of 5 main ingredients in a preparation. This preparation can be enjoyed as an accompaniment and also as a main course. Serve this with varan bhat, roti or bhakri to make complete Maharashtrian wholesome meal. Panchamrut or Kayras is a typical variety of side dish in Maharashtrian and North Karnataka region. On any festival day it is a compulsory dish cooked or in a typical Maharashtrian wedding thali, this panchamrut is prepared with other varieties of Maharashtrian delicacies namely koshimbir (raita), chutney, varan bhaat toop limbo (dal, rice, ghee and lemon), masale bhaat, panchamrut, aluche phatphate (colocassia leaves), bharli vaangi (stuffed baby eggplants) or batatyachi bhaji (potato bhaji), jalebi or shrikhand- puri or basundi for dessert.
Panchamrut is a typical side accompaniment along with the relishes on any Marathi festive occasion. This is more like chutney having the taste of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness and other spices which ideally makes this dish divine and lip-smacking. The panchamrut is not only regarded for its sacredness but also for its medicinal values. Since the olden time, Panchamrut was recommended as the relevant medicine for alleviating nervousness.
To prepare this luscious Spicy version Panchamrut, firstly heat oil in a pan and when it is enough hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and pieces of fresh coconut. Cook the coconut pieces until they are slightly coloured. Add pinch of hing, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, goda masala and sauté well.
Add peanuts, cashew nuts and raisins. Saute till they get a nice colour and then add 1 ½ cup water, salt and when the cashew nuts become slightly softer then add jaggery and mix well. Cook this for about 10-12 mins or until the peanuts and cashew nuts become soft. Add 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds powder and 2 tsp roasted peanut powder and mix. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame and the dish is ready.
Tips: If you like this dish to be little sour, then add tamarind juice or kokum. Panchamrut is generally served as an accompaniment or chutney placed at the salad counter.
This Panchamrut Spicy version is also a healthy dish as nuts and seeds are very healthy and nutritious. In addition to being excellent sources of protein, nuts and seeds have many other benefits such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other chemicals that may prevent cancer and heart disease. Although many people hesitate to eat nuts because they are high in fat, eating nuts can provide a sense of fullness or satisfaction that actually causes you to eat less of other high-calorie, high fat foods. Additionally, nuts are high in essential amino acids and healthy fats, making them an important part of any vegan or vegetarian’s diet.
All nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps keep your skin beautiful and may help protect your eyesight. The omega-3 fats, selenium, and zinc in some nuts and seeds offer similar benefits to the skin. Same ways, the spices like cloves and peppercorns used in goda masala are known to improve digestive complaints and immune functions.
Finally, Pachamrut is delicious, refreshing, full of flavours, mouth-watering, healthy and nutritious. To try this recipe, click on the below link to watch the making of Panchamrut: