Panjeri is a highly nourishing traditional sweet snack given to pregnant and nursing women in India to help them heal and regain their strength. It is usually made with nuts, seeds and grains such as wheat flour or semolina and sweetened with jaggery or cane sugar. But I had to modify this to suit my daughter’s taste and tried to make it as healthy as possible by using only natural ingredients and no grains. So by adding dried fruits like figs, apricots, dates and cranberries which have natural sugars I was able to cut down on the sugar considerably.
Here’s the Recipe:
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1/2 cup figs
1/2 cups apricots
1/2 cup cranberries
1/4 cup *gum arabic
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup melon seeds
1/4 cup lotus seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1.Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Fry the gum arabi in 1 tbs butter till it puffs up. When it cools down grind it to a fine powder.
3. Pulse the nuts till they are crumly. Process dried figs, dates, cranberries into small pieces.
4. Melt butter and combine with honey, brown sugar and vanilla essence.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry fruit and nut mixture. Combine everything well.
6. Press it on a baking dish and bake for 25-30 mins
7. Cut into squares or bars and enjoy!
There are different kinds of edible natural gums which are used in indian cooking especially in sweets and desserts.
*Gum arabic also called *chaargoond in hindi and gum acacia in english is a natural edible gum. *Gond katira is another kind of edible natural gum which is called tragacanth gum in english can also be used in this recipe. Both have good health benefits. For more details about these edible gums please check the links below. These are available in any Indian grocery store everywhere.