The sweet equivalent of Bisibelebath is probably Mysore Pak. Nothing represents ‘Karnataka’ better than Mysore pak after all the dish carries our Cultural Capital in its very name. The other day I was really amused when I noticed somebody writing about Mysore pak that it is originally from AP! Quite did not know Mysore was in AP. Oh! yes it is official, the dish was invented in the Mysore palace kitchens.
The legend is that the Mysore Maharajas were very fond of this particular sweet. “Guru Sweet Mart” in Mysore
is still was once upon a time the Mecca of Mysore pak and used to supply the sweetmeat to the palace as well. Recent reviews are not as favorable though. "Guru Sweet Mart" you still rule!!!I have still struck to “Guru Sweet”… I still make it a point to grab their Mysore Pak when ever I am in the city. When in Bangalore I buy Mysore Pak from ‘Sri Krishna Sweets’ Malleshwaram or ‘Venkateshwara Sweets’ Chickpet (Could be Balepet as well, very close to Upparpet Police Station). Sorry Sri Krishna Sweets, Sorry Venkateshwara Sweets and Sorry Tazza Mithai, you all loose, It is still "Guru Sweet Mart" all the way. Look at this piece of Manna from the heaven. No fancy packing, only pure ghee and unbeatable taste. I am sure they do 1:5 Gramflour: Ghee and the mild cardamon flavour the just hoovers around in the background.Oh boy! I love it.
Mysore Pak is a delicate dessert. The consistency should be that which melts in your mouth in seconds and it should be so rich that you cannot go for seconds. But you find plenty of inferior versions, some that are as hard as Peppermint candies! Do not skimp on Ghee if you desire velvety smooth Mysore pak. Stay clear from Vanaspati or oil. Also, good Mysore pak should have very few hole. The ones that have holes would have been made commercially, more out of economic considerations than love! therefore, less rich but more in quantity and do not rank high in terms of quality. Unfortunately in the case of Mysore pak, inferior imitations seem to be more popular than the original!!
During our long life in Mysore, mom used to make it very frequently. Of late she had stopped making it because of health considerations. None of us are as young and none of us can justify such pleasures anymore.. Back then things were different. Our butter vendor used to visit us for fortnightly butter deliveries. The resulting ghee was too much for the four of us to finish. So the day before the appointed butter delivery, mom used to make Mysore Pak to use up the remaining ghee to make way for fresh ghee the next day :) What a plan. She used to alternate Mysore pak and Cake. So effectively, we got to eat Mysore Pak a week or so every month. Back then we were still not into 'stealing' from the racks and dabbas, so it indeed did last may be a week or so. Here is the amazing Mysore pak.
Per serving: 407 calories: Protein 1.3 g: fat 33.28: Fiber 0.65
Chickpea flour/ kadale hittu/ Besan 1Cup
Sugar 2 Cups
Ghee 2 ½ to 3 cups
- Take a tbsp of Ghee in a skillet and toast the Besan till fragrant. Set it aside.
- Grease a tray. Set it aside.
- Melt ghee and set it by the stove. Keep ghee and Besan handy.
- In a thick bottom pan combine sugar and a scant ¼ cup of water. Dissolve the Sugar and bring it to ‘one thread consistency’. i.e. when you pinch the syrup between your wet thumb and forefinger you should see a single thread running between them.
- Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle a tbsp of besan and a little ghee on the syrup and mix well making sure there are no lumps. Be careful, the mixture splutters and potentially scald. Repeat till all the ghee and besan are used up.
- Keep stirring till the mixture leaves sides and lumps together into a big porous ball. Pour onto the greased tray and let it cool. Cut it into desired shapes and serve. Generally the sweet is generous in serving. But I cut them into 1”*1”*1/2” for our lifestyle justifies just as much!! Enjoy.
Again to get authentic Mysore Pak, never skimp on the Ghee. Pure home made Ghee will give the best results.