Janmashtmi Special: Different Types Of Paag For Prasad

Janamashtmi Paag…

Comes Janmashtmi, and the one question which is asked in my house is “What all Paag you are going to make?”And then everybody comes up with their preferences. Like my elder son Shivang wants more of Giri (Muskmelon seeds) Paag, younger son Siddharth is fond of Makhana (Foxnuts) Paag, Coconut Paag is my favourite and hubby dear wants to have all as he has a sweet tooth. Forget children, even my father in law used to look forward to these preparations.

Krishna’s birthday is celebrated in different ways across the country but in many north Indian households there is a sweet tradition to offer Paag as Prasadam to Laddoo Gopal (Krishna). Many different varieties are commonly made on this day. The most common ones are of Nariyal (Coconut), Giri (Muskmelon seeds), Makhana (Foxnuts), Gond and Dhaniya (Coriander seeds powder). And don’t forget to make Makhana (Foxnuts) Kheer and Krishna’s favourite White Butter with sugar crystals (Makhan-Mishri). Last but not the least, add Tulsi leaves in your Prasad as Krishna loves Tulsi leaves and His Prasad is incomplete without it.

‘My mother in law was an expert cook and used to make the Paag with estimation only and it came out perfect everytime. I only assisted her in the preparations, so knew the process but the quantities? No idea. After she left us, I had to make and was very nervous. That time, my mother worked out the ratios of ingredients for me and what a big help it has been. Now, every year, I follow these ratios and touchwood, my Prasad, comes out good and is readily accepted by Krishna.

So, today, along with the recipe I am going to share those ratios with you.   Any Paag is made up of three ingredients, namely dry fruit (whichever you want), sugar and water. Sugar syrup is made first then the dry fruit is mixed in it and the whole mix is laid on a greased plate. When set, cut into pieces. This is the basic Paag recipe.The ratios goes as:

Ingredient     :       Sugar      :         Water

1                :         1/2         :          1/4

Yes, this simple it is. For every 1 cup of Giri, Makhana etc, you take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. For measuring, take any cup you want but use the same cup only for measuring all the 3 ingredients.

Tips To Make Paag

Take the ingredients as per ratio given above.

Boil sugar and water till you get one thread consistency. To check one thread, put little syrup in a plate. When slightly cool, stretch it between your thumb and forefinger. If you are able to pull it between the two then that is one thread consistency.

Always spread it on a greased plate or pan.

 

Now, let us see different Paag recipes in detail.

Coconut Pag

Ingredients 

1 Cup Grated Dry Coconut

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

1/2 Teaspoon Ghee (For Greasing)

Method

  1. Grease a plate and keep it aside. Use ghee (clarified butter) for greasing.
  2. Take dry coconut and grate it. You can peel it before grating. I use my food processor for grating coconut and the job is done in few seconds only. Or you can use desiccated coconut.
  3. Dry roast it in a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes till the raw smell goes off. Be very careful and keep tossing as it gets brown very quickly. Or, you can just put it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing after every 3o seconds.
  4. In a wok, add sugar and water.
  5. Let it boil for 4 to 5 minutes till you get a syrup of single consistency.
  6. As soon as the desired consistency is reached, mix roasted coconut in it.
  7. Spread it on a greased plate.
  8. Let it cool down completely. Cut into pieces and keep aside. No, don’t eat now.

 

Giri (Muskmelon Seeds) Paag

Ingredients

1 Cup Giri (Muskmelon Seeds)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Method

  1. Clean Giri as generally it has lots of husk.
  2. Grease a plate and keep it aside.
  3. In a shallow pan, add ghee. When ghee gets warm, add Giri and roast it till becomes golden brown. These seeds, splutter while roasting so keep it partially covered with a steel plate, as shown in the pic below.
  4. When the seeds are golden brown, empty the wok and keep the seeds aside.
  5. In the same wok, make sugar syrup by adding sugar and water. Ensure that the syrup is of one thread consistency.
  6. If you see the syrup is grey as sugar has impurities in it then clean it. For cleaning, add 1 teaspoon milk and let it boil. With the boil, the impurities will get collected on the sides. Remove them. Repeat, if need be.
  7. Now add roasted muskmelon seeds. Stir these nicely so they are well coated in the syrup.
  8. Spread the mixture on a greased plate.
  9. Cut when cool.

Makhana Paag

Ingredients

1 Cup Crushed & Roasted Makhanas

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

Method

  1. Traditionally, Fox nuts are fried and then crushed slightly. But with time, I have given up frying process and now roast them either in microwave or airfryer or in skillet. To roast them in skillet, just add 1 teaspoon Ghee and toss Foxnuts till slightly crispy. For microwave, put the Foxnuts in a glass bowl, put 1 teaspoon ghee and cook in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after every 30 seconds. For airfryer, toss the Fox nuts in 1/2 teaspoon ghee and air fry for 2 minutes.
  2. When completely cool, crush them slightly, in just 2 to 3 pieces only. This is done so that they are binded well when put in sugar syrup. You can crush with a rolling pin.
  3. Make sugar syrup of one thread consistency by boiling water and sugar.
  4. If you see the syrup is grey as sugar has impurities in it then clean it. For cleaning, add 1 teaspoon milk and let it boil. With the boil, the impurities will get collected on the sides. Remove them. Repeat, if need be.
  5. Add roasted and crushed Fox nuts. Toss them nicely so they are well coated.
  6. Spread the mix on a greased plate.

Dhaniya Paag

Ingredients

1 Cup Dhaniya Powder (Coriander Seeds Powder)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

Method

  1. This Paag is made with the coriander seeds powder only that we use for making veggies also.
  2. Dry roast Dhaniya powder so that the raw smell goes off and the colour changes a little. Take it out in a plate.
  3. In the same wok, make sugar syrup by adding sugar and water.
  4. If you see the syrup is grey as sugar has impurities in it then clean it. For cleaning, add 1 teaspoon milk and let it boil. With the boil, the impurities will get collected on the sides. Remove them. Repeat, if need be.
  5. Add roasted dhaniya powder, toss nicely so that it is well mixed.
  6. Spread the mix on a greased plate.
  7. Cut when cool.

Notes

  1. After making one type of Paag, immediately wipe the wok with a tissue or cloth. This way, you can use the same wok/kadhai multiple times without washing it every time.
  2. If your Paag doesn’t set then need not worry, put it back in the wok, cook for a minute or two and then again spread it.
  3. You can mix nuts like almonds, cashews, coconut etc and then make Paag. Follow the ratio given above and make any type of Paag.

Other Fast related recipes which you may like:

How To Make Non Sticky Sabudana

Fruit Cream

Vrat Ka Pulao

Fruit Chat In Fruity Bowls

I am sure you will find this post helpful in making Prasad on this Janamashtmi. I would love to have your comments and feedback as you know your feedback fuels my enthusiasm to post more good content. If you post your creation’s pic on Instagram then remember to tag me #samirasrecipediary. You may like my FB page to know about my latest recipes.

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Happy Janamashtmi…

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