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Monday, 24 August 2020

Charnamrut / North Indian Panchamrut Recipe

Charnamrut or Panchamrut is a holy Indian concoction that is an integral part of any religious occasion. Panchamrut that is offered as naivedhyam to the deity or used for Abhishek and distributed as prasad (blesssed food) after any pooja or prayer in temples or at home is referred to as charnamrut as it is bestowed at the feet of deity. Panchamrut translates to 5 amrut (nectar). It is essential made from 5 holy ingredients, milk, curd, honey, ghee and Gangajal ( water from the sacred river, Ganges). Today, I am sharing the North Indian version of Panchamrut where dry fruits, nuts, saffron and tulsi patra (holy basil) are also used to make panchamrut.

Sacred Importance of Charnamrut

It is the common practice in most Hindu temples and households to conclude the prayers with the customary offering and drinking of charnamrut, received on the right palm supported by the left. The water that is used to bathe deities in temples glides down and passes through their feet. This water is then collected and mixed with yogurt and sugar and distributed amongst the faithful. It is believed that since the water touched the body of an idol, it holds spiritual significance. 

While Charnamrut or Panchamrut is offered to the deity in every Hindu pooja, it holds special importance in Satynarayan Katha, Janmashtami Pooja, Navratri and Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja. It also acts as a fasting food.

Is Panchmrut and Charnamrut the same?

Yes, panchamrut and charnamrut both are same. While every region in India has its own version of making Panchamrut or charnamrut, it is primarily made using 5 holy ingredients that are considered as nectars of the God. In Mararashtra, we make Panchamrut without any dry fruits, just using Cow's milk, curd, ghee, sugar, and honey. The quantity of milk used is more while the rest 4 ingredients are taken in equal quantities. In South Indian version, coconut water, fresh coconut and ripe bananas are also added to the panchamrut. The term charnamrut is used in most commonly used in North India.
The different ingredients of the charnamrut hold different qualities,
  • Milk stands for purity and piousness
  • Curd for prosperity and progeny
  • Honey for sweetness in our speech and nature
  • Ghee for strength and victory
  • Sugar for happiness
  • Tulsi for immunity

How is Charnamrut made?

The traditional way of making Charnmarut is considered the purest, as it is made using Cow's milk, ghee and curd made from Cow's milk, water from the holy river Ganga, and tulsi patra, the holy basil leaves. Honey and sugar are used as sweeteners. In the North Indian version of Panchamrut, curd is taken as the base (in larger quantity compared to other ingredients). Cold milk (boiled and cooled) is added to the whisked curd. Honey , sugar, Ganga jal and ghee are then added to the curd and milk and blended well. Phool Makhana (roasted foxnut/ lotus seeds), chopped almonds, cashews, chironji, raisins, coconut flakes, and few saffron strands(optional) are added to the basic charnmarut and given a good mix. Finally few leaves of holy basil, tulsi patra are added and the panchamrut is kept in earthenware pots so that it remains cool and the milk does not split. 


Scientific Significance and Health Benefits of consuming Panchamrut / Charnamrut

Apart from the sacred importance and divine nature, charnamrut is also known to have certain health benefits as a food. Panchamrut is believed to be purifying and nourishing, it strengthens immunity, vitalises the brain, and boosts physical strength. 
  • Tulsi leaves, the holy basil holds immense importance in Ayurveda. Tulsi imparts antiseptic and anti-inflamatory advantages to the charnamrut. 
  • Pure ghee made from Cow's milk is a healthier alternative to butter and promotes digestion, reduces inflammation, aids in weight loss and also helps in strengthening of bones. 
  • Curd acts as a coolant and digestive agent. 
  • Nuts and dry fruits used in the charnamrut are rich in anti-oxidants and keep one energised throughout the day.
Can Panchamrut be consumed daily?

As per Ayurveda, freshly prepared panchamrut can be consumed daily by every individual. It can also be given to babies after 1 year of age as it acts as a brain tonic.Ppregnant women can take 2-3 tablespoon of panchamrut daily as it is energy booster. Panchamrut should be consumed early in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach.

Dietary Notes: Panchamrut is
  • Holy drink
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • Fasting food
  • Gluten free
  • Immunity booster
  • Brain tonic
  • No-cook
Milky Way @ Foodie Monday Blog Hop

Milky way is the 261st theme on Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook gourmet group, where a bunch of like-minded bloggers share their culinary creations each week depending upon a pre-decided theme. Swaty who blogs @Foodtrails25.com was our hostess for this week and among the 2 themes she proposed, Milky way won with maximum votes. Swaty suggested that we come up with any recipe using milk or milk products as the key ingredient. Since Ganesh Chaturthi festival is going on, i chose to post this charnamrut recipe which uses milk and also milk poducts like curd and ghee. Meanwhile, do checkout Swaty's blog for some wonderful recipes both regional and from the International Cuisine. I have bookmarked Mathura ke pede (a festive milk fudge) and Sama ke chawal aur gajar ki kheer, a fasting milk pudding made using barnyard millet and carrots to try out from her blog.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: Nil

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1 1/4 cup curd (around 300 grams)
  • 1/2 cup cow milk
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon Ganga jal ( water fron river Ganges)
  • Few holy basil leaves / Tulsi patra
  • 1/2 cup roasted foxnut seeds/ makhana
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chironji seeds/ charoli
  • 4-5 almonds, chopped
  • 4-5 almonds, slivered
  • Few saffron strands (optional)
  • few dry coconut flakes ( optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
  1. Take curd in a mixing bowl. Whisk it until smooth and creamy.

2. Stir in cold milk, followed by ganga jal, honey, sugar and ghee. Give a good mix to blend all the ingredients well with each other.

3. Lastly add the roasted fox nut seeds, raisins, chopped nuts, chironji seeds, coconut flakes. Mix well. Flavor the panchamrut with cardamom powder and garnish with saffron strands if using and washed tulsi leaves.

4. Refrigerate the panchamrut until serving time or transfer into earthenware pots so that the milk does not split. If making it for Pooja, offer the panchamrut to the deity and there after distribute it amongst the devotees as prasad (blessed food).


Recipe Notes:

  • You can get Ganga Jal in any Pooja shop in India. 
  • Preferably use cow milk to make panchamrut and also the ghee and curd that are made from cow's milk. 
  • Refrigerate the charnamrut if made ahead of the pooja as keeping panchamrut in hot weather may split the milk.
  • Use nuts and dry fruits as per your choice.
  • Some versions use only honey as a sweetener to prepare panchamrut, while some version use both suhgar and honey. The south Indian version has jaggery as well.
  • Always make Panchamrut fresh and consume the very same day.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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  1. Divine post . This is a new recipe of panchamrut I have come across . Nice to know the various traditions in our country

    1. Thank you Priya. I also learnt it here last year. Dp gove it a try.

  2. Such a informational post about panchamrut. Looks so divine and delicious. Good to know about this version of charnamrut.

  3. As kids me and my sis always looked forward to having panchamrat on festivals or any pooja occasion. I also had it sometimes when I was expecting my both the kids. Very nice share perfect for the ongoing festive season. As always beautifully captured.

    1. Thank you Swaty. Yes Panchamrut is beneficial to pregnant women and lactating mothers.

  4. No religious havan or Pooja is complete without panchamrut. Love this different kind of panchamrut with makhana. We usually besides the essential five add nuts and saffron. As kids I remember my brother and I sneakingly going to have a bit of the panchamrut while my granny would be doing the Pooja.

    1. Thank you di. Makhana adds a lovely nutty taste and bute to the Panchamrut.

  5. Wow what a divine post. I and my daughter love panchamritam. So on Satyanarayan puja always make extra and store in refrigerator. Your looks heavenly. Never used saffron, next time I will also add saffron and coconut flakes. And never measured the ingredient, used everything in andaj. I must say its a keeper recipe.

    1. Thank you so much di. Most of my recipes are also depending upon andaz..but for our readers we need to measure the ingredients. Saffron adds a lovely flavor and color to the Panchamrut.

  6. Any pooja is incomplete without the offering of Panchamrut.We always look forward to panchamrut after the rituals. This charanamrut with Makhana is new for me. Beautifully explained Poonam.

    1. Thank you di. Do try it out with makhana. It tastes heavenly.

  7. Your Charnamrut looks so divine, Poonam! I love the addition of makhana here. Our Panchamrutam is totally different, so I'm hugely intrigued by this post. Thanks for sharing such detailed information.

    1. Thank you Priya. Glad that you liked it. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

  8. Very divine presentation with lovely write up Poonam. Loved your other festive recipe collection too, good to know more about North Indian panchamrut recipe. It is healthy, divine and tasty.