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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yet another lore on B'lore-Mysore - a sweet story

The festival season has just come to an end . Lets end it with a sweet story.
Bangalorexpress decided to trace the lore on our very own ever so famous mysore pak!!
Yet another lore on bangalore-mysore for you all.

Read On
It was another day at the Mysore Palace and the reigning King, Nalawadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1884-1940), was about to sit for lunch.
It  was the early years of the 20th century. The then royal cook, Kakasura Madappa, had just completed the preparation for the royal palate. He liked dishing out different dishes to the King who in turn appreciated them.

On that particular day, Kakasura decided to come out with a new sweet dish. He had just mixed besan, ghee and sugar and was preparing a sweet syrup when he was called to serve the King.
Even as the other dishes were being served to the King, Kakasura served the sweet he had prepared. The King tasted it and was extremely delighted. He had never before tasted the dish and it just melted in his mouth.
What is this dish and how did you prepare it, he asked Kakasura. The cook, thoroughly pleased that his experiment had succeeded, said it was Mysore Paka. He had hit on the name at the spur of the moment.  Paka in Kannada and it means a sweet concoction.
The sweet soon came out of the Royal Palace and spread rapidly. Royals, noblemen and commoners alike soon started preparing Mysore Paka and the name struck.

Meanwhile, Kakasura refined the sweet and the Mysore Pak that came out of his hands included chick pea flour, ghee (clarified butter).  It soon became  a famous royal sweet and the name Mysore Pak spread beyond the boundaries of Mysore.
The king then asked Kakasura to set up a shop outside the Amba Vilas Palace grounds so that his subjects too could taste the Pak.

Thus was born Guru Sweets on Sayaji Rao Road in Mysore in 1957. The royal cook-Kakasura-passed away in 1964, aged 70 and by then Mysore Pak had become one of the main sweets in the Indian palate. His son, Basavanna, continued the family tradition. His descendents still operate the shop and the Mysore Pak of this shop has a unique and distinct taste.
Today, there are several varieties of Mysore Pak, each with its distinct flavour and taste. The Pak has also transcended the borders of Karnataka and it is very commonly available all over India. But a majority of the buyers of Mysore Pak are not aware that it originated in the Royal kitchens of Mysore and that it was prepared by accident.
So on our trip to coorg via mysore we had to drop into Guru Sweets !
But what a disappointment it was :-(
Taste nor the quality was worth driving into mysore city and searching for the shop !
We bought almost a KG of mysore pak but didnt eat even one single piece.
See the shop in the picture above .
With times things change for better may be .
Nandhini Mysorepak is royal enough for us !!
We wont recomend even trying out Guru Sweets .

Do let us know if you know of someplace with drool worthy Mysorepaks :-)

Or if you wanna make it yourself .. read on
Make sugar syrup with two parts sugar and half part water (this is the paaka that gives the sweet its name). Stirring constantly, add one part gram flour. Add turmeric for colour and powdered cardamom if desired. After the mixture boils, add one part ghee. Allow it to cook, turn out into a large pan and then cool for 45 minutes to an hour.

Keep it simple & sweet just like mysore Pak.
We will be back with many more lores.
Until the next time ...

Much Sweetness,

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