Panchamrutham literally translates into five nectars – Pancha means “five” and amrutham means “nectar”. It is a sweet concoction prepared using five ingredients and is made during festive occasions and in all temples for abhisekham(ritual bathing of the representation of the divine) and prasaadam. The five ingredients used for making Panchamrutham vary – Banana, however, is ubiquitous. I haven’t come across a Panchamrutham that is served without Banana. Some of the other ingredients that take the place of the other four ingredients include milk, honey, jaggery, coconut, coconut water, raisins, dates, curd and sugar. Some versions of Panchamruthams include a medley of fruits like grapes, jackfruit and so on as one ingredient, making it almost a fruit salad. Panchamrutham is synonomous with Murugan Kovils (temples), served as prasaadam that is a mineral rich glucose sugar burst after devotees climb up the hill for a glimpse of God. Pachamrutham served at the Pazhani Swamy temple is considered to be the tastiest version. Conducting abhisekham (ritual bathing) with Panchamrutham is believed to bring wealth and prosperity.
Here’s the version that we prepare in our family:
Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: ZERO, Serves: 2
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Eat immediately or serve chilled.
*Measures of ingredients for Panchamrutham are never exact – this is a classic “kannalavu” (measured by the eye) dish. Unlike the photograph (which my daughter Lakshmi took) the ingredients are slightly mashed and overall Pachamruthams have a slightly squashed look.
Panchamrutham is my entry for JFI-Banana hosted by Mandira from Ahaar. Jihva for Ingredients (JFI) is a series started by Indira of Mahanandi that showcases recipes of one ingredient each month – this month’s theme is Banana.