Panikoorka, is popularly used in South Indian states to treat coughs and colds in children. The herb is also used to treat a variety of health problems in both children and adults. This plant is known as Indian Borage, Mexican Mint or Cuban Oregano. In Kerala, regionally, Panikoorka is also known as Karpooravalli, Navara, Kanjikoorka etc. In Kerala, people say that you should grow the panikoorka plant in your house if you have children.
I was never successful in growing this plant here when my son was small. Two years back I bought a couple of plant stems from back home and luckily it started growing well. I tried adding these leaves in many dishes in place of oregano & mint and was pleasantly surprised with the results. We also enjoyed fresh lemonade with panikoorka leaves in it. Then the idea of making wine with panikoorka leaves struck me and when I tried it, it came out super tasty. Do try wine with these healthy leaves and let me know whether you liked it.
Wine / Mexican Mint Wine / Indian Borage Wine
Panikoorka Leaves - 4 to 5 cups firmly packed
Sugar - 1 ¼ kg
Water - 3 ½ liter
Lemon juice - ½ cup
Lemon zest of 2 lemons
Yeast - ½ tsp
- Thoroughly wash panikoorka leaves and chop and place it in a big vessel.
- Bring half of water to a boil and pour boiling water over panikoorka leaves.
- Mix and cover the vessel with a lid and stand for around one hour.
- Strain the panikoorka liquor into a sterilized fermentation bottle / bharani.
- Boil the remaining water and pour boiling water to the strained panikoorka leaves and wait for another one hour, strain into the bottle and discard the leaves.
- Add all the other ingredients to the bottle like sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and yeast.
- Stir the mixture well until all the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Cover the bottle and stir the mixture every day for 21 days.
- After 21 days, strain the mixture through a cheese/ muslin cloth into clean and dry bottles and use.
- After 21 days you can consume the wine, but it will be little cloudy and not very clear. If you allow the panikoorka wine to stand for couple of months you will get a very clear wine like in the picture.