Junnu powder, also known as colostrum powder or kharvas powder, is a milk-based powder made from the first milk produced by cows after giving birth. This milk is called colostrum and is known to be highly nutritious.
Junnu powder is used to make a traditional Indian milk pudding called junnu or kharvas. It has a sweet and delicious flavor and is often flavored with cardamom, saffron, pepper and jaggery.
How is Junnu Powder Made?
Junnu powder is made by spray drying the colostrum milk collected from cows in the first few days after calving. Here is the process:
- Cows produce colostrum for around 5 days after giving birth to a calf. This milk is hand-milked and collected.
- The colostrum milk is then processed by removing fat and cream. It is then spray dried into a powder form.
- The dried junnu powder contains concentrated amounts of proteins, antibodies and nutrients found in colostrum.
- It has a pale yellow color and is packaged for sale in pouches or tins.
Nutritional Value and Health Benefits
Junnu powder is highly nutritious owing to its colostrum content. Some of the key nutrients in 100 grams of junnu powder include:
The high protein and antibody content of the colostrum gives junnu powder some excellent health benefits:
- Boosts immunity: The antibodies and immunoglobulins in colostrum powder help improve the body's immune response.
- Increases lean muscle mass: The proteins and amino acids help build and repair muscles.
- Aids digestion: Colostrum is easy to digest and improves gut health.
- Burns fat: Some research shows colostrum may help increase metabolism and fat burning.
- Increases stamina and vitality: Nutrients like proteins and carbs improve energy levels.
How to Use Junnu Powder to Make Kharvas
Junnu or kharvas powder is primarily used to make the traditional Indian dessert called kharvas or junnu. Here is an easy recipe to make kharvas at home with junnu powder:
- 2 packs (200 grams) Junnu powder
- 500 ml milk
- 150 grams jaggery, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- Take the milk in a thick bottomed pan/vessel. Add crushed jaggery and cardamom powder. Mix well.
- As the milk warms, add the junnu powder gradually, stirring continuously to dissolve lumps.
- Once the powder dissolves fully, pour the mixture into a bowl. Top with a few peppercorns.
- Place bowl in a steamer/cooker filled with water. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes on low flame.
- Cool slightly, chill in the refrigerator and serve!
The pudding has a sweet flavor and thick, creamy texture. You can customize it with saffron strands, nuts or your choice of toppings.
Key Takeaway: Junnu powder is added to warm milk and jaggery, steamed lightly and chilled to make the traditional junnu or kharvas milk pudding.
Availability of Junnu Powder
Traditionally, junnu powder was freshly made at home by rural families using colostrum from their own cows.
These days, it is commercially manufactured and sold online and in stores across India. Some popular brands that sell junnu powder include:
- Sri Kamadhenu
Junnu powder packs are available in quantities ranging from 100 grams to 1 kg. When buying, check the expiry date and that the pack is properly sealed.
The powder must be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. It typically stays fresh for 4-6 months.
Is junnu powder vegetarian?
Yes, junnu powder is 100% vegetarian as it is made from cow's milk. It is safe for consumption by lacto-vegetarians.
What is the difference between junnu powder and colostrum powder?
Junnu powder and colostrum powder refer to the same ingredient - the dried milk powder made from cow colostrum. Junnu is the term used in India.
Can we use junnu powder to make recipes other than kharvas?
Yes, junnu powder adds great nutrition to any milk-based sweet or dessert. You can use it in dishes like rabdi, basundi, shrikhand, milk cakes, etc.
Does junnu powder contain lactose?
Junnu contains lactose as it is made from cow's milk. People with lactose intolerance may experience digestive issues after consuming it.
Is packaged or homemade junnu powder better?
Homemade powder from your own cow's milk is more fresh and nutritious. Packaged powder is more consistently processed and has a longer shelf life. Both work well for making sweets.
Junnu powder is a nutritional powerhouse packed with protein, carbohydrates and bioactive compounds found in colostrum milk. It is produced by spray drying the first milk from cows after calving.
In India, junnu powder has been used for generations to make kharvas - a signature milk pudding dessert with jaggery and cardamom flavors. The powder is dissolvable in milk and steamed briefly to make the classic, creamy sweet treat.
With excellent health benefits and therapeutic properties, interest in junnu powder is increasing internationally too. It is also being studied for boosting immunity, building lean muscle, enhancing workouts and accelerating recovery.