Ram Navami 2024: 3 Classic South Indian Recipes For Ram Navami Celebration

Apr16,2024


I would always look forward to being in Bengaluru for Ram Navami during my school summer vacation. The festival typically falls on the ninth day of the Chaitra month, as per the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which usually is in the second half of March or early April. Ram Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Ram and is observed across the country with different rituals. Several cities that are mentioned in Ramayana’s legends conduct major celebrations. These include locations like Rameswaram and Bhadrachalam in South India. This year will also mark significant celebrations in Ayodhya.

One of the longest-running traditions in Bengaluru is a month-long classical music festival that is organized by the Sree Ramaseva Mandali. This unique festival in the Chamrajpet area in Bengaluru doesn’t just bring some of the best exponents of Carnatic music together, but also Hindustani musicians and also includes discourses. A lot of local organizations also organize celebrations and distribute panaka (or panagam in Tamil), a beverage that has been mentioned in ancient texts and that is strongly associated with Ram Navami. Neer more (watery butter milk in Tamil) or Masala Majige (spiced buttermilk in Kannada) are also served during these celebrations across the region. Many homes across South India typically serve panaka, buttermilk and moong dal salad or kosambari. Let’s take you through these popular recipes.

Also Read: When Is Ram Navami 2024? Date, Puja Time, Significance And Foods To Eat On This Auspicious Day

Ram Navami-Special Recipe 1: Panaka Or Panagam:

This simple summer beverage combines jaggery, dry ginger and cardamom. Some recipes also add a hint of crushed peppercorns or cooking camphor. It’s a great summer cooler even beyond Ram Navami and is a fix for dehydration. Thanks to jaggery, the drink comes with natural electrolytes. The quality of jaggery is the key ingredient in this beverage.

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In Picture: Panaka
Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

Ingredients (For 4 glasses):

  • Jaggery – 150 gm (avoid using sugar instead of jaggery. You can use palm sugar)
  • Water – 600 ml (three glasses)
  • Juice of three lemons (medium size)
  • Dry ginger powder – half teaspoon (can be substituted with crushed ginger)
  • A pinch of cooking camphor (optional)

Method:

  • Soak jaggery in the water till it melts completely
  • Filter the water to remove any particles
  • Add the lemon juice
  • Add the powders and stir well. Serve at room temperature or serve chilled.

Also Read: Ram Navami 2024: Over 1.1 Lakh Kg Laddus To Be Sent To Ayodhya Ram Temple

Ram Navami-Special Recipe 2: Cucumber Kosambari:

This is one of my ‘go-to’ salads, an easy yet nutritious one, associated with the Ram Navami celebration. It is also served during other festive occasions and as part of banana leaf wedding meals in some parts of South India. While it’s also made with carrot, cucumber’s cooling properties (with about 95% water) during the summer make it a preferred vegetable for this delicious salad. You can also substitute the cucumber with grated carrot or asparagus.

Ingredients:

  • Moong dal: half cup
  • Grated or finely chopped cucumber: 1 to 1.5 cups
  • Grated coconut: 3 tablespoons (You can skip the coconut if you plan to refrigerate it)
  • Chopped coriander leaves: 1/4 cup
  • Chopped green chillies: 2 or 3
  • Juice of half or 1 lemon
  • Asafoetida: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

For the seasoning:

  • Oil (coconut oil works best): half tsp
  • Mustard seeds: half tsp
  • Red chilli: 1

Method:

  • Soak moong dal for one hour.
  • Drain water completely.
  • Chop cucumber finely.
  • Stir all ingredients in a bowl with the required amount of salt and lemon juice.
  • Temper the mustard and red chilli. Now, add it to the bowl and mix well.
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In Picture: Neer Mor
Photo Credit: iStock

Ram Navami Recipe 3: Masale Majige Or Neer Mor:

It’s a summer cooler in most parts of South India. Neer mor or watery butter milk is also served on Ram Navami. Almost every home has its recipe, but most recipes contain curry leaves, coriander and mustard. Whip the buttermilk and then temper mustard seeds and curry leaves with asafoetida. You can then add chopped green chillies and finely chopped ginger to the buttermilk. Some recipes of the Masala Majige (or spiced buttermilk in Karnataka) also include crushed peppercorns.

Happy Ram Navami 2024, everyone!

About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie – a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.

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