Panchāmirtham/ Panchāmrutham means Five nectars. “Pancha”-five, “Amrutham”-Nectar. I guess, this is the closest to Amrutham- the divine nectar, consumed by devas. The devas and the asuras (gods and demons) united in their efforts to churn the celestial ocean of milk Ksheerasaagaram in quest of Amrita (the nectar of life and immortality). Must have been a humongous task. Our Panchāmirtham tastes as divine as Amrita, but the preparation is a snap.
Panchāmirtham is the holy prasad in palani Murugan( Subramanya Swamy) temple. It is used for Abhishekam( Bathing the God). Palani Panchamirtham and Sabari mala’s, “Aravana Paayasam” are the most wonderful form of prasaads ( prasadham), that can take the place of man made amritam.
Palani Panchāmirtham is the oldest form of jam or fruit mix and preserves very well, even for months. The secret lies as much in the art of preparing it as in the quality of the fruit that is used as the basic ingredient. It is the small sized viruppāchchi plantains which account for it, the reason being that they have very little water content. Incidentally, Viruppāchchi is the name of a village (in the Palani Hills) where this particular variety of plantain is grown and marketed. Crushed plantains apart, Panchāmirtham consists of kandasari sugar from Kangeyam area, dates, kismis, sugar candy (kalkandu), cardamom and ghee in proper proportions.( from Palani.org)
It was my daughter’s birthday last week. Had a small Sai Bhajan at home. Decided to make panchamirtham for the prasad. Holy goodness ! It’s the most delicious thing I have ever made. The aroma while making it gave me a feeling that I just had a darshan of Lord Muruga.
- Banana- 1.
- Dry dates- 6.
- Jaggery- 3/4 cup.
- Honey-1/4 cup.
- Ghee-3 tsp.
- Kalkandu or sugar candy- 1tsp.
- Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp.
- Almonds- 6( optional)-Indu’s touch.
- Pomegranate seeds- 1tsp (optional)-Indu’s touch.
- Chop banana and apple into small pieces.
- Mix all the ingredients in a clean dry bowl, with a ladle, adding honey and ghee at last.
- Mix them to a consistency shown in the above picture, until the jaggery kind of dissolves.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy.
- The five ingredients that go into making the panchamirtham is really debatable. There are versions that add Cow’s milk, Curd/yogurt, Cane Sugar, Coconut scrapes. However, adding milk and yogurt, would make the panchamirthamtoo pasty and panchamirtham can get spoilt quickly.But from my understanding, the five main ingredients that are needed to make panchamirtham are banana, honey, jaggery, kalkandu and ghee.
- I added almonds to give some richness and crunch- and to lower LDL cholesterol-(LOL).
- I also added Pomegranate seeds for a boost of antioxidants and Vit B5. Pom seeds are believed to cure cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer.
- Other ingredients like fresh grapes, chopped jackfruit, Cashew nuts and even Tulsi leaves, edible camphor(pacha karpooram) can be added for that extra pizazz.
- Use banana that is firm and not too soft.