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|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Karnataka|
|Main ingredients||Ghee or oil, sugar, gram flour|
Mysore pak is an Indian sweet prepared in ghee that is popular in Southern India. It originated in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is made of generous amounts of ghee, sugar, gram flour, and often cardamom. The texture of this sweet is similar to a buttery and dense cookie.
It is traditionally served in weddings and other festivals of southern India, and is very popular in baby showers as well.
The Maharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1884-1940) was a food connoisseur and maintained a large kitchen at the famous Amba Vilas palace in Mysore to prepare different cuisines: from European, to the sacred prasadam or offerings to the various temples within the palace. The origin of the dish is credited to his chief chef, Kakasura Madappa, who had not made any dessert. With time running out, the desperate Madappa began experimenting, wanting to present the King with something unusual. Adding gram flour, ghee and sugar, he made a soft pak (or mixture). This was presented on the royal thali as a hot, fudge like, sweet. The chef was called in and asked what the new dessert was called. He said the first thing that came to his mind - the ‘Mysore pak’.
Paaka or extreme sweet, refers to the sticky sugar syrup obtained by simmering sugar with equal amount of water; specifically for Mysore pak, the simple syrup is heated to the soft ball stage. The syrup is used as the primary sweetening agent in various Indian sweet dishes like Jalebi, Badam puri, Mysore pak and others. The syrup is flavored with various spice essences like cardamom, rose, honey etc. Paaka syrup preparation is a skilled art mastered by few cooks, some of whom keep their methods secret.
- Shape: Mysore pak is cut into squares or rectangles.
- Texture: Hard and porous when made with less ghee, soft and dense when made with generous amount of ghee. Moisture from the sugar syrup escapes as steam through the greased gram-flour rendering Mysore pak porous. Excess ghee, if any, may fill in such pores rendering it dense.
- Colour: Yellow to light brown due to gram flour (roasted).
- Shelf life: Very little water is used in the preparation, so it can stay fresh in cool and dry place, but it should be used within one month only.
- Mujumdar, Neha (24 November 2012). "In search of Mysore Pak" – via www.thehindu.com.
- https://www.ndtv.com/south/how-the-famous-mysore-pak-was-invented-674512?amp=1&akamai-rum=off How the Famous Mysore Pak Was Invented
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