Mahashivratri festival: Panakon (Tamarind Lemonade)
This is a guest post by food blogger Anoushka Aodhorah from PeachyTales.
Mahashivratri , the Great Night of Shiva , is considered to be among the most significant festivals for Hindus in Mauritius and celebrated ardently throughout the Island on that day. Normally the fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivratri. However among all the twelve Shivratris that occur all year round, Mahashivratri (which occurs in February-March) is the one that holds the most tremendous spiritual significance in Hinduism. On that day millions of devotees of Lord Shiva fast and worship sincerely by staying awake all night long.
Many also perform pilgrimage to the sacred lake, Grand Bassin to offer their gratitude and love to the Lord Shiva. Preparation for this festival starts weeks beforehand and many social community centres work wholeheartedly to provide refreshments and food to the pilgrims coming from every part of the island during the period of Mahashivratri. Among these many beverages includes lemonades and teas that are being offered all day long.
Panakon – Tamarind Lemonade is a traditional offering during prayers and religious festivals. Served very chilled, it is of an exhilarating refreshment that provides solace to all those on pilgrimage. Also very rich in vitamins, it helps keep your body hydrated during the pilgrimage. Panakon is ideally served during Thaipoosam Cavadee at temples after lunch is being served. However, because of their great benefits to pilgrims, many more people have started to offer them during Mahashivratri as well. To note, Tamarind being an ancient food with great medicinal properties, helps greatly to alleviate sunstroke.
Tamarind Lemonade – Panakon
Prep time: 20 Mins
Total time: 20 mins
3ltr of chilled water
3 limes (small)
½ cup of tamarind puree
½ tbsp of ginger powder
2 tbsp of cardamom powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup grated green apples
- Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemons. Reserve.
- Slice your limes and reserve.
- In a jar add the orange and lime juice followed by tamarind puree.
- Next add in the sugar and whisk thoroughly until dissolved.
- Then add in the ginger and cardamom powder.
- Pour in the chilled water and lime slices.
- Finish with grated apples and ice cubes.
- Serve very chilled and on the same day.