Haldi or turmeric is the most commonly used spice in South East Asian and middle eastern kitchens. Although it is mostly used in savoury dishes, you can sneak it in some sweet dishes as well. With its numerous health benefits, turmeric has been used in Indian households as a go to home remedy for countless ailments. I have distinct memories of my grandmother giving haldi doodh whenever anybody in the house was feeling a bit under the weather or applying a paste of haldi and warm mustard oil on small cuts and wounds.
Now let’s talk PANJIRI!
Panjiri is a traditional Indian sweet, made by roasting wheat flour in ghee till it turns colour and has the distinct sweet aroma . Once flour is done roasting, ghee roasted nuts and ground cane sugar or shakkar ( powdered jaggery) are added . With all that ghee, sugar and nuts, it is a high calorie, but energy rich snack.
One of the panjiri that my mom used to make was haldi panjiri where she would roast fresh, crushed, turmeric rhizome and add it to the wheat, sugar and nuts mix. It had the distinct yellow colour and the earthy flavour of turmeric. It was a labour of love. I remember eating a bowl full of it every evening with a glass of warm milk. Since a lot of work goes into making panjiri, and it has relatively longer shelf life, its usually made in a larger quantity. It can stay on the counter for a week or two and much longer in the fridge.
To make panjiri gluten free, you can make it with besan or gram flour instead of wheat flour. A good friend of mine Balvinder, has this amazing gluten free blog, that was my inspiration to make the haldi panjiri a few years back. It tastes amazing. In fact thats how I made it the first time as well.
I have been on a low carb/keto diet for a while . Any kind of carb rich flour is out of bounds on keto diet, but I REALLY wanted to make the haldi panjiri. So instead of using besan or whole wheat flour, I made my panjiri with almond flour! To make the panjiri even healthier and more substantial, I added flax meal to it. Flax meal is the other super food as we all know. It does have a lot of carbs, but majority of those carbs are fibre thus leaving a very low net carb content and making it a keto friendly food. I used Sucrin gold to sweeten the panjiri , but any granular or powder sweetener would work in the panjiri.
Traditionally, fresh rhizome is peeled, grated or crushed and roasted in ghee to make the turmeric panjiri, but I did not have the fresh rhizome at home, so I used the dried turmeric powder to make my panjiri! The panjiri still tastes amazing and my work was slashed by a whole lot. Its a win win situation!!
If you don’t want to cook with ghee, you can use the regular canola or sunflower oil. I personally like the coconut oil, for its nutty and flavourful taste in my panjiri.
I love ajwain or carom seeds in my panjiri. They have this strong pungent flavour and a little bit of seeds go a long way. Ajwain seeds are a popular digestive aid and help relieve flatulance or excess gas in stomach. I also added a little dried ginger and crushed fennel seeds in my panjiri. With all these amazing ingredients, this panjiri is a riot of flavours. Have a small bowl in the morning with a cup of chai and start your day right!
Almond Flour 1/2 cup
Flax Meal 1/2 Cup
Ground Turmeric 1/4 Cup
Coconut Oil 1/4 Cup
Desiccated Coconut 2 Tbsp
Crushed fennel Seeds 1 Tbsp
Ajwain Seeds 1 Tbsp
Crushed Cardamom Seeds 1 Tbsp.
Dried Ginger 1/2 Tsp
Sweetener granulated 1/4 Cup
In a wok or karahi, dry roast almond flour and desiccated coconut at medium heat till it looses the raw flavour and turns the colour a bit.
Add in flax meal and roast for a few more minutes. Keep them aside.
In the same wok, add coconut oil. Once melted, add in ajwain, fennel and turmeric powder and roast at low to medium heat till it becomes fragrant and darkens just a little.
Add the almond flour and flax meal, dried ginger and mix well.
Remove from heat and add in the sweetener and mix everything very well.
Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container