Ponk: A Dry Millet Enjoyed During Winters

Fresh, small, green Jowar grains known as Hurda (Ponkh, Paunk) are harvested for a short time in the winter (December to February). In Gujarat and Maharashtra, it is particularly well-liked. It is a type of roasted millet that is unique to this region of the world. After being roasted over charcoal, this dry millet is beaten free of the soft shell. Hurda grains are either roasted or prepared in different ways before consumption and are crunchy, tender, and juicy. Nowadays, you may prepare hurda  available in packets at supermarkets or neighbourhood sabjiwalas during the winter. 

Throughout Maharashtra, Hurda or Ponk celebrations are very well-liked in the winter, particularly in late December and early January. The farmers host these gatherings on their properties. They encourage guests to enjoy nature's beauty. They serve roasted, freshly harvested ponk grains with drinks like buttermilk or sugar cane juice. 

How To Buy 

Ponk is transported from the vicinity of Hazira to neighbourhood stalls in Surat city. Ponk ought to be as soft as a confection made of gelatin and coloured green. The ponk grains should be devoid of pests, dust, and odour, and they should also be clean. 

How To Use  

One of the easiest uses for ponk seeds is boiling them. The small, corneous grains are typically preferred for this kind of food item, which is then prepared as porridge with milk or water.   

The raw grain can either be decorticated before grinding or processed into flour to create a product with fine particles or flour, which is then utilised in many traditional recipes. Depending on personal desire, the flour may be milled finely or coarsely. 

People come to Surat to consume freshly extracted "ponk," tender Jowar cereal that is shed by pounding the grass that contains it like wheat or rice. This is combined with freshly ground hot lemon pepper sev and tastes fantastic. 

A healthy ponk snack is another option; it doesn't require cooking. All you need to do is toss the delicate seeds with a few seasonings and a squeeze of lemon for a delectable snack that no one will be able to resist. 

The preparation of ponk as ponk bhajiyas is another intriguing method. The ponk is combined with besan and seasonings to make a batter, which is then deep-fried till crisp. 

The ponk can also be used to prepare soups, vadas, and pullav as well. 

Hurda can be frozen for three to four months. During the season, you can store up on it and continue to enjoy it later. It can be used to make bhajiyas, khichdi, hummus, and bhel. 

Health Benefits  

Most often, ponk is consumed with the hull, which contains the majority of the vitamins. 

The plant has a healthy amount of protein as well as a lot of fibre. 

The fibre in it helps manage cholesterol levels and promotes a delayed release of sugar into the blood. 

Ponk is gluten-free, making it a desirable substitute for people who have wheat allergies.