THE DELICACY AND DELIGHT OF MYSORE PAK
The Accidental Origin of this Yellow Goodness
That heavenly aroma of an Indian sweet dish coming together is nothing short of olfactory bliss. Often prepared around festivals like Diwali, Janmashtami and on occasions like festivals and baby showers down South, this is one dessert that you have to try at least once in your life.
But did you know that Mysore Pak was created accidentally for the first time in a palace by a royal chef? Yes, you read that, this yellow, dense dish was not deliberately planned but is the result of a delicious mistake.
The culturally and historically rich city of Mysore was ruled by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar way back in 1935. On a usually balmy day at Amba Vilas Palace, the residence of the king, the kitchen was alive to prepare lavish meals for the entire royal family. The chief chef, Kaksura Madappa was revered for his culinary skills and had everything under control. The one thing he didn’t yet know was the dessert. Thus began his trial and error to create a sumptuous and unique sweet that would be devoured by the king in no time.
With the paucity of time adding stress to his day, Madappa put on his thinking hats and began his experiments by randomly adding ghee, gram flour (besan) and generous amounts of sugar to a wok. What Madappa initially prepared was a sugary yellow syrup with an infatuating aroma. However, by the time it reached the king and he finished his lunch, it was solidified and acquired a thick, fudge-like consistency,
Thus, the famous Mysore Pak was born, to be loved and gorged by people today. The term Mysore Pak came from the name of the city, and the Kannada word ‘Paka’ means a sweet preparation. Over time, it became a royal favourite and people picked up Mysore Pak
The Fabled Recipe
While the basic and important ingredients consist of dollops of ghee, sugar and gram flour, other ingredients like Cardamon, rose and saffron is also added for garnishing. How do you prepare this flavourful dish from the royal kitchen of yore?
To make the Mysore Pak smooth and buttery, milk is added as an option.
1. Start preparing Mysore Pak by roasting gram flour in a deep pan. Keep roasting on low flame till it turns aromatic and loses the raw smell. This can take easily around 10-12 minutes.
2. Set aside the gram flour and let it cool down. Add a generous amount of ghee and mix until it all comes together without any lumps.
3. Meanwhile, do start prepping the sugar syrup by adding sugar and water to a wok. Boil this mixture until you achieve a thin strand consistency.
4. Now, pour this sugar syrup into the gram flour and ghee mix and stir continuously to ensure there are no lumps.
5. Keep adding ghee at different intervals to ensure the mixture becomes thick and smooth.
6. Take it off the heat, pour the prepared concoction on a flattened plate and cut it into small pieces. Let it cool down and solidify before serving.
The Where Can You Have The Best Mysore Pak?
The art of preparing this beautiful, aromatic dish looks straightforward, it can take plenty of hits and misses before you nail it like the royal chef Madappa. This is where the famous food joints selling the best Mysore Pak come in.
The two most popular places in Mysore that serve the best Mysore Pak are Guru Sweet Mart and Shri Krishna Sweet Shop. Hard on the outside, crumbly and porous on the inside, you can find this sweet delicacy at Gundappa Sweets and Shri Shri Ram Vilas Sweets in Bangalore.
A revered and decadently sweet, Mysore Pak is famous for its buttery smooth texture and the right amount of deliciousness to round up a good meal. In South India, during Dussehra, serving a platter of 51 dishes is necessary to celebrate the deities on different days. Mysore Pak is always featured on this platter.
It is, after all, the ‘king’ of sweets in South India for a reason.
— Priya Chaudhary —