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Two Most Popular Traditional South Indian Recipes For Rama Navami- Vadapappu and Panakam

Updated on January 15, 2018
Venkatachari M profile image

Venkat is experienced in cooking since his mother's demise in 1966 and cooks Indian cuisines better. He uses healthy, easy ways in doing so.

Vadapappu Recipe

Vadapappu is a traditional South Indian preparation that is obtained by way of soaking split green gram (mung dal/lentil) in water for one hour or so and then draining out the water and adding some more nice ingredients to the drained lentil.

In the Telugu language, "vadapOta" means either the act of draining out the liquid from any foodstuff or the extracted material thus obtained itself. Here, while you are preparing Vadapappu, you are draining out the water from the soaked mung dal or lentil. So, it has become a drained lentil. Pappu means lentil. Hence, this recipe is named as Vadapappu.

After draining out the water from soaked lentils, you are expected to add salt and other ingredients to the Vadapappu for good taste.

Remember that you should not miss this Vadapappu for Sri Rama Navami celebration. Do the worship of Lord Sri Rama with flowers and by chanting slokas. Thereafter, offer Vadapappu and Panakam to Him, obtain His blessings and eat them before engaging yourself in other errands of the day.

Vadapappu and Panakam recipes

Ready to eat "VADAPAPPU"
Ready to eat "VADAPAPPU" | Source
Panakam ready for serve
Panakam ready for serve | Source

About Panakam Recipe/Drink

Panakam is a water drink that contains jaggery and pepper. Jaggery is added to water to prepare the "Panakam Recipe". It is normally brownish or thick yellow in color due to the color of jaggery. Jaggery is the product obtained from sugar canes. When jaggery gets refined, it becomes sugar. So, jaggery is the rough version of sugar which is, generally, very cheap and easily affordable by the common man. So the peasants and laborers drink Panakam recipe often to revitalize their bodies, especially during summers. It is a poor man's drink.

Very Easy to Prepare and No Extra Cost Panakam Vadapappu Recipes

It is very simple and easy to prepare the Panakam and Vadapappu recipes.

It takes much lesser time and energy in preparation.

Further, there is no need for cooking at all.

It involves no extra additional cost as all the ingredients are very cheap and are of daily usage.

Multiple Uses of Vadapappu and Panakam

Even though 'Vadapappu' and 'Panakam' are mostly prepared on the special occasion of Ram Navami festival day in South India (Ram Navami is the day when Lord Rama was born and it is also the day when he got married to Sita), these recipes need not be restricted to simply for Rama Navami celebration itself.

We can prepare these items on any normal day also and use Vadapappu in lieu of mini breakfast recipes to save time and labor. Enjoy some weekend holidays or picnics, preferably during summer seasons, with these Panakam and Vadapappu recipes to enjoy variety in life and to provide instant energy to your bodies

I am not telling this to Indians only but it is equally good for people all over the world to experience some variety in tastes by trying these rare and peculiar recipes as their mini-menus in between the full meals.

God worshiped on Ram Navami is Lord Rama with his consort, brother, and Hanuman
God worshiped on Ram Navami is Lord Rama with his consort, brother, and Hanuman

Ingredients Required for Vadapappu Recipe

split green gram
100 grams
1/4 spoon
use teaspoon
grated mango
one tablespoon
grate after removing skin
grated coconut
two tablespoons
raw(not dried coconut)
green chilly
long sized
The above quantities are for four persons or four serves.

Images of Raw Ingredients and Prepared Items for Vadapappu

Raw mango, coconut, and green chili
Raw mango, coconut, and green chili | Source
grater for grating the mango and coconut
grater for grating the mango and coconut | Source
skin remover or peeler for removing outer skin of mango
skin remover or peeler for removing outer skin of mango | Source
drained lentil, grated mango, grated coconut, and sliced chili ready for mixing
drained lentil, grated mango, grated coconut, and sliced chili ready for mixing | Source

Step-By-Step Preparation Instructions for Vadapappu Recipe

  • First, soak the green gram in a bowl of water for 1 hour.
  • Take the mango and remove its skin and grate it finely with a grater to collect one tablespoonful of it. Keep the remaining part of mango for using otherwise like cooking your dal recipe or for making chutney.
  • Break the coconut and you may collect the water into a cup or let it spill out. If you collect the coconut water, you may drink it or mix it in the "Panakam" drink.
  • Grate the coconut till you make 2 tablespoonfuls of it. You can grate the entire coconut if you want to use it otherwise, or you may keep the remaining part in your fridge for 2,3 days and use it later on.
  • Slice the green chilly into small, thin and fine pieces.
  • Now, you see if the green gram is ready by pressing it with a finger. If it is soft and splits into pieces, then remove the water from it. (It becomes ready sometimes within 40 to 45 minutes).
  • After removing the entire water from the green gram, add all the items of grated mango, grated coconut, green chilly pieces and salt into it and mix it well with your hand so that all tastes get mixed thoroughly.
  • Now, your "Vadapappu" is ready to serve in tiny bowls or plates.

Ingredients for Panakam

150 grams
grated/sliced into thin layers
Drinking water
One litre
in a jug or any container
Black pepper
25 to 30 seeds
make slightly rough powder
3 or 4 pieces
make powder (with skins)
very small piece
powdered or pasted
The above quantities are for four persons or four serves

Images of Ingredients for Panakam Drink

Jaggery, Pepper, Cardamom in raw form. A piece of ginger can also be added for good taste and flavor.
Jaggery, Pepper, Cardamom in raw form. A piece of ginger can also be added for good taste and flavor. | Source
Panakam after mixing all items
Panakam after mixing all items | Source

Step-By-Step Preparation Tips for "Panakam" or "Panagam"

  • Take one liter of water in a jug or any container.
  • Shave the full jaggery of 150 grams with a knife into thin layers so as to mix quickly in water. You may grate it also instead of shaving.
  • Make powder of pepper and cardamom without removing the skin of cardamom in a mortar with pestle. Do not make it more refined powder. The powder of both cardamom and pepper should be a little rough for good taste and look. You may grind it in your mixer/grinder also in the smallest jar.
  • Now mix the shaven/grated jaggery and powder of pepper and cardamom(with skins) into the water and mix it thoroughly so that the jaggery dissolves completely in water.
  • Now, your Panakam is ready to serve in glasses.

Panakam Preparation Video

Benefits of Vadapappu and Panakam

  • Vadapappu is good for your body's nutrition as it is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber also to great extent. It provides the energy required for your body. You will experience immediate freshness after eating one or two teaspoons of Vadapappu recipe.
  • Panakam is very good for summer seasons. It keeps your body cool and fresh and allows you to face the hot summer by drinking a glass of Panakam recipe. It protects your body from heat and thereby you will feel mental freshness also. It protects your body from dehydration and flu.

More Tips for Vadapappu and Panakam

  • You can change some of the ingredients according to your own likings like increasing or decreasing the quantities of grated coconut, mango or the pieces of chilies, and salt etc. while preparing the "Vadapappu" recipe and by increasing or adjusting the pepper powder and/or jaggery quantity to certain extent in the Panakam recipe.
  • But one thing you should take care about is not to serve this "Panakam" drink to Diabetes patients as it can do much harm to their health.
  • Otherwise, both recipes are very tasty and spicy and give you a good spirit of enjoyment during summer days, holiday enjoyments, and during outings, as they keep you energetic and fresh.


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    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 23 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      These mangoes are raw ones, not ripe for eating as such. The green raw mangoes are very hard and we use them for preparing mango pickle. It is very difficult to cut these mangoes. For preparing pickle, we cut the mangoes with a big knife attached to a wooden board. Even then, it needs much strength to cut it. People sit in the market only for cutting these mangoes during April and May months.

    • MarieLB profile image

      MarieLB 23 months ago from YAMBA NSW

      I love the way you weave so much knowledge about each item used in a recipe. This sounds delicious and I will certainly give it a try.

      One thing puzzles me V M. You say to grate the mango. Our mangoes are usually bought when ready to eat, and so are not hard enough to grate. What about the mango you use in the recipe? Is it maybe harder than what we buy here?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank you, Torri Lynn for your visit and nice comment.

      You can try it enjoy it. Though, it is related to one our festival celebrations, you can prepare it on any day especially in summer time and enjoy it.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      this look delicious, I'm always into trying different and new foods. thanks for the hub.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, Gus - Why I thought all of you know about green grams and jaggery. Green gram is a bean. It is also known as mung bean or golden grams. They are very healthy for your body. If you can eat the soaked whole grams as sprouts it will be too good for you just like the chickpea sprout or wheat grain sprouts. You need to test them to know about its greatness.

      And regarding jaggery, it is the product of sugar cane just like the sugar. Sugar is more refined one whereas jaggery is a raw product sold in cakes or balls or pieces before getting refined into sugar. It is used for preparing many sweet dishes in place of sugar.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 3 years ago from USA

      Venkatachari M - I would wager that, were I to run out to the market up the street and buy some "green gram" and some "jaggery" from the shopkeepers, they would fall out in a faint - an actual Redneck buying that stuff. (What in the world are those two things?)

      Gus :)

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, glad to know that you like Panakam. And thank you for commenting.

    • cheeluarv profile image

      cheeluarv 3 years ago from INDIA

      I like Panakam very much, thank you for sharing the good recipe .

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      You are welcome, please. I hope you will try it soon and taste your friends and family also. I am sure it will be liked by all of you for a change. And, thanks for visiting the hub and commenting.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I have never had anything quite like this, but it is interesting to run across it here. Thank you for sharing!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yeah, it is a good drink during summers to charge your energy and also to quench your thirst.

    • profile image

      tpksarathy 3 years ago

      I love Panakam