Janmashtami will be celebrated by Hindus across India on 14th August to commemorate the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. The festival is observed according to Hindu Luni-Solar calendar, when Lord Krishna was born at midnight on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Shravana. The festival is celebrated with much fervour to welcome ‘Nanhe Gopal’ to this world. On the holy occasion, many people observe ritualistic fasts and bathe Krishna’s idol with honey, milk and water and dress him up in new poshaks. Prasad or Naivedyam plays a significant role in the prayers during Janmashtami puja. Of all the prasads prepared during this pious day, Dhaniya Panjiri is considered to be one of the most important prasads.
Dhaniya Panjiri is a Falahari dish also served as prasad and is often relished during fasts. Panjiri is a nutritional supplement made with wheat flour fried in sugar and ghee and is heavily laced with dried fruits and herbal gums. During the festival, wheat flour is replaced with coriander seed powder to offer to the God. The wheat flour panjiri is replaced because consuming grains are generally not allowed during fasting, hence coriander seeds.
Dhaniya Panjiri is popularly prepared during Janmashtmi in Northern India, especially Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. It is made from coriander seed powder, bhoora (powdered sugar), ghee, chopped almonds, raisins, cashew nuts and mishri. All you need to do is to roast the seeds and grind them in a blender and make a powder, leave it slightly coarse. Add ghee in a pan and saute the powder in ghee until it turns brown. Transfer the coriander panjiri on a plate and let it cool and then add sugar to it. Mix well and add dry fruits to it.
The Prasad or Naivedyam- Dhaniya Panjiri
Dhaniya Panjiri is not served as it is, but it is often served with Charnamrit, a sweetened drink and sliced bananas. Charnamrit is made with yogurt, powdered sugar, coconut, chiraunji and makhane. It is a light drink that helps you take the panjiri without it sticking to your mouth. The significance of this prasad not only remains religiously important but is also healthy. No wonder it is used widely as an offering across the country during Janmashtami.