As a kid, I was eagerly waiting for the celebrations of Ram Navami at the Delhi Telugu Academy. I really relished the drink called PANNAKAM distributed to one and all present in the large hall. I usually requested for an extra glass to the man engaged in the distribution of it. He led me to the kitchen where lots of individuals were busy in the final preparations of the lunch to be served to all guests. Wow! I saw something which I cannot tend to forget in my life. I learnt how to prepare the Pannakam!
1) Jaggery-1 kg
2) Black Pepper Powder- 50 grams
3) Cold and chill Water-1 liter
Take a large container and add water to it. Add the pieces of jiggery into the water and mix well with the ladle. Add black pepper powder and mix well again. Keep it for some time and in the refrigerator. Serve it in the glasses. It is very good for health and in taste.
During the month of Ramadaan, I visited the old city of Jama Masjid. In the old galleys of this region, I was trying to relish various dishes cooked and sold to the customers. These dishes are not new and contemporary dishes. What did I observe at one of the stalls! I saw a man selling GUR SHERBET.I was inquisitive to know more about it and approached towards his stall.
My eyes could not escape the preparatory episodes of the Gur Sherbet. There was a large container filled with the dark brown colored water. He took the liquid with the help of the ladle and filled it into the glasses. He took half-sliced piece of lemon and placed it in a lemon juice extractor and squeezed the juice into the brown water. He mixed it with the help of a spoon and handed it to his customers. One such glass was handed over to me also. Ah ha! The same taste and similar flavor -this reminded me of the PANNAKAM.
Out of curiosity, I asked the vendor about the name of the drink. To my utter surprise, he said,”GUR KA SHERBET”. That’s it.I realized the similarities and differences between the two drinks-GUR KA SHERBET and PANNAKAM.
I understood the philosophy behind this experience of mine. Unity in diversity-no matter what kind of region we hail from, somewhere or the other, there are intersecting points for us. This can be in terms of the culture, music, traditions, food, dresses, religions, customs, etc. One cannot escape from its grip. One can experience them in some form or the other. The excellent discovery for me is the fact that I EXPERIENCED IT DURING THE RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES-RAMA NAVAMI AND RAMADAAN. Both of them are pious festivals celebrated in India with great pomp and show.
No matter what the experiences are presented to us, I learnt the following lessons:
a) Jaggery is good for health.
b) Drinks prepared from it are good for consumption.
c) It has soothing effect to our digestive tracts.
d) The taste is really good.
e) It is good for the diabetic patients also.
f) The addition of the black pepper and lemon juice adds the flavor to the drink.