Paunk this


This is the famous Surati paunk, which is fresh jowar (sorgum) seeds. Since fresh is out of the question for us, I jumped for joy when I found a packet of dried paunk tucked away in one of the shelves of my Indian store. All I had to do was soak it in boiling water for 15 minutes to hydrate it and it was almost as good as the plump paunk that wends it way from Gujarat to Bombay every winter.

Fresh paunk can be served as is but the more popular way is to mix it up like chaat. So I sprinkled some red chilli powder and some salt, added a dash of lemon juice, garnished it with some spicy sev and cilantro. Medha said it tasted just like all the other 'Indian junk food' I make and approved heartily. Tomorrow, I will make a spicy paunk bhel.

Millet is a group of closely related crops with small seeds grown in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. In India, the two popular types of millet are bajra and jowar. Bhakri, a roti that is typically flattened out by hand and is considered part of a farmer's staple diet, is usually made from jowar or bajra flour or a mixture of both. Millet is considered to have 'warming' properties and is therefore recommended for consumption during winter.

That makes paunk just perfect for the kind of weather we're having currently. A hot cup of tea and a spicy paunk mixture! Ah! The snow, the wind and the freezing temperatures outside don't seem so bad anymore!

And yes, Anjali, jowar is indeed called jwar or jwari in Marathi. But this post was an ode to my husband's roots in Surat. So what if he had never heard of paunk before!

Another Update:
Paunk, young green jowar kernels, are called hurda in Marathi. Jyotsna Shahane of The Cook's Cottage has more information. Hat tip to my multi-lingual friend, Richa of As Dear As Salt, who is also a fount of knowledge.


musical said...

No clue! Could have been corn, but it isn't!

Indian Food Rocks said...

Musical, I don't believe this! It's just not possible! In my post, I was going to include "Musical, please abstain from saying what this is!" Seriously? You mean I found something you don't know about?! I am feeling soooo clever, right now, I tell you! ;-)

[does virtual cartwheels]

TBC said...

Citrus seeds?

Richa said...

jowari sarkhe distat, pan jara suklele ahet asey vattay

Red Chillies said...

Me thinks it is corn too :-)

Anita said...

It's a millet for sure - now, which one? I always get them mixed yp...I'm going to say...bajra?

Anita said...

...and to throw us off, did you mix it with jowar?

Indian Food Rocks said...

Not citrus seeds. Nor corn. It's much smaller.

Richa and Anita have got it. It is millet. The jowar kind.

Richa, it looks dry because it is dried. And between you and Musical, I think you have the whole food world covered!

This is usually eaten fresh (not dried) in the winter months. Any clue what this is called? Apart from jowar (sorghum) seeds, that is!

Anjali Koli said...

Anita, she has mixed it. It is Jowar the pearl like ones and the darker ones are bajra ofcourse. Manisha any prizes for this? Anita and me can share :).

Anjali Koli said...

Jowar is called jwari in marathi
Jolad in kannada

Anita said...

Yes, Anajali - she makes a tough quiz, and no prizes either!

Indian Food Rocks said...

I take lessons from the best. Therefore no prizes. But seriously, you must have had paunk? Or at least heard of it?

I've been told that it is jowar seeds only and not a mixture of jowar and bajra seeds. If you can confirm one way or another and let me know, I will update the post accordingly.

musical said...

he he, that was a fun quiz :-D. you think too highly of me ;).

but this looked really translucent to me to be bajra. never seen jowar whole grain, just the flour :). Anjali's pointer makes sense to me.

Richa said...

u r too kind with ur words, manisha "blush"
fresh jowari eaten in winter, is also known as HURDA
it is greenish in color.
it is served with roasted winter veg and about 13 types of chutnies, atleast that is how i remember eating it, pure blisss!!
thanks for reminding @ it.
i'm so going to look for it in the stores, wonder how it missed my 'najar' all these days ;)
i remember discussing hurda with ET, she had asked me to blog about it which i never got around to.
hugs to ya!

Indian Food Rocks said...

Musy, I updated the post - check out the link to Jyotsna's blog. Young jowar is green in color and that's what paunk is. Since these seeds had been dried, I think they lost some of their color.

Richa, you never cease to amaze me. I call it like I see it.

I haven't seen paunk here before either. I wondered how long it had been sitting on those shelves but quite frankly, I didn't care! I wanted it and it didn't taste old at all. Not quite the taste of tender fresh paunk but almost there!

Richa said...

Thank You dear! ur sweet words created lovely positive vibrations :)
looking at those sweet green kernels was pure joy, has been a few years since i last tasted them!
A Hurda party, as we called it, was something I always looked forward to in winters :) amcha mali jameenit ek mottha khadda karaycha and it is roasted underground, nanatar mali bua used to rub it in his palms to get rid of extra stuff and serve it HOT!
ooh! am getting goosebumps thinking of it :)