Pudhina Paanagam is a subtle variant to Paanagam – lemon jaggery juice and Pudhina Kulir chaaru – Mint Cooler.
Paanagam is a combination of lemon and jaggery water and is an acidity regulator. Hence, it is a preferred drink during fasts. It soothes the stomach and cools the system.
Pudhina Kulir Chaaru or Mint Cooler is basically extracting the flavor of mint in boiling hot water, not blending in a mixer. The previous recipe has sugar in it.
Here, in Pudhina Paanagam, I blended fresh mint leaves in lemon-jaggery juice. This has the soothing effect of lime and jaggery, packed with freshness of blended mint leaves. The colour is pleasingly green and the strong flavour of mint hits your palate to travel in and cool the tummy.
I avoided the usual cardamom in Paanagam as it might clash with the mint flavour. Chukku Podi/Dry ginger powder is added for easy digestion.
Pudhina Paanagam/Fresh Mint-Lemon-Jaggery Coolant
Ingredients (serves approximately three)
juice of 5 lemons (medium sized)
filtered jaggery water – preferred sweetness
fresh mint leaves – destemmed – (1/2 cup for each glass of juice) – appr. 1 1/2 cups
chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 3/4 tsp
additional water – as required
Method of Preparation
I would recommend making jaggery syrup at home, filter and store for various purposes. This is one way, we might avoid depending upon crystal sugar for immediate usages.
Heat jaggery in water in sim flame until it completely dissolves. Strain and then boil for 5 minutes… it would be neither syrupy nor watery.
Cool and store in fridge.
Mix juice of lemons and mix the jaggery syrup. The quantity of syrup is per one’s sweet preference
Add dry ginger powder
Clean and de-stem mint leaves
Wash well and blend together with lemon, jaggery syrup and dry ginger powder
Add enough water to make 3 glasses of juice
Strain and drink. If one prefers without straining , that’s perfect too.
Unpacking still continues.. Unpacking, Arranging and Setting up a new house in a new country is supposedly a never ending task – atleast feels so for now. But Kitchen cannot stop running… but Posting has taken a slow motion twist. But let me tell you, life looks like an action packed thriller – not at all an Exaggeration Please… never under estimate the life of a Home-maker!
Hats Off to my fellow bloggers who don’t let their packing, unpacking and settling down bother blogging and sharing!
That is why I decided for this Quickie Post. This is a thirst quencher, that goes down so cool and comfortable and certainly is a digestive soother.
Even in these busy times, we have been able to travel to the best attraction of Cambodia – Angkor Wat. This travel not only took us to the past but also develop an interest in the connections Indian Kings, especially the Tamil Kings had with Cambodia and South East Asia, very many centuries ago. I think after some serious research, I shall try to deliver in words the beauty and ethnicity of this historic country.
Back to the thirst quencher. Here, the temperature varies between 30 to 35 degrees C in the daytime and might be 25 to 27 degrees C at night. It is important to keep drinking water and provide necessary fluid supply to the system, especially for kids who have their PE (Physical Education) classes at nearly eleven in the morning till 12 before lunch. Also for mothers like me who take a trip to school to drop the lunch box, packed with fresh lunch for our children. (There is always a doubt whether the food would remain fresh if sent by hand, the children leave home by seven as the school starts at 7.30 am).
This drink is truly a chiller! I had it in a restaurant in Chennai during my recent visit. Couldn’t stop with a single glass of the drink… it gave an instant soothing feeling in the scorching chennai humidity. Why not call it Minute Cooler instead of Mint Cooler?! It is not only an instant cooler of the body but is made in a jiffy too.
I named it Pudhina Kulir Chaaru – Pudhina is mint; Kulir is cool or cold and Chaaru is juice.
Good Luck struck me when I came to know my cousin makes it regularly at home. Got the recipe from her and it is a regular at my home (made it twice already).
Though it seems to be more of a summer chiller, this is for all seasons. A drink is a drink isn’t it? Meant for all seasons!
fresh mint leaves – 3 1/2cups
water – 500 ml (appr.. 3 cups)
sugar – 250 mg (appr. 2 cups)
grated ginger – 3 tsp
lemon juice – 1/4 cup
lemon and ginger
Method of Preparation
Clean and wash mint leaves
Peel, wash and mash ginger coarsely
Heat water and sugar in a wide bowl and bring it to boil and switch off the stove
Immedietely add the mint leaves and ginger
Mix well and close with lid
Let this cool for atleast 3 hours
After a minimum of three hours, the mint leaves would have released a pleasing flavour and mild colour to the concentrate
Ginger would have left a very slight spicy taste
Let the mixture cool well to add lemon juice
Squeeze juice of approximately 3 lemons depending upon the size of lemon
Add the lemon juice to the sugar mint concentrate
Strain in a small holed strainer and store in fridge
Mint concentrate is ready and stays for a week in fridge.
Preparation of Mint Cooler
Take any preferable glass
Add crushed ice or just ice cubes
Fill 1/3 portion of the glass with concentrate and the rest with water
Ready to be served!
Quantity of Mint leaves can be increased for a more minty flavour
The same holds good for sugar, ginger and juice of lemon according to one’s taste buds
Always add lemon juice only after syrup cools well as lemon juice would turn bitter if added in hot syrup
Green food colour can be added for an exact colour to the Mint Cooler (I have not used green food colour as I prefer not using additional colours)
To store the concentrate longer, citric acid can be added. Here, I have added only lemon juice and avoided citric acid.
This concentrate can be stored in fridge for a week. Take my words, it will be done before the time frame!
Cousin ‘S’ also mentioned, for a more tangy north indian flavour, chat masala can be added while serving.