November 27, 2022

Kakasura Madappa, the royal chef of Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, was in a repair. The nineteenth century ruler of the Mysore Kingdom had an elaborate lunch, for which every thing was ready, sans the dessert. In a bout of hurried effort, Madappa served a syrup, produced from a combination of ghee, gram flour and sugar. By the point the king moved in to wrap his meal with one thing candy, the chef’s ingenuous concoction had solidified on the thali. The king, unaware of the fiasco, appeared to be dazzled by this melt-in-your-mouth sweetmeat. He turned to Madappa for the identify of the dessert. Out got here the phrases –Mysore Paka.

Mysore Pak
Mysore Pak is among the most iconic delicacies of South India Instagram/blissladoo

There are alternate tales that credit score the king for naming this dessert that’s an iconic image of South India’s historical past of sweets. Whether or not it was the erstwhile king of Mysore that referred to as it Mysore Paka (Paka in Kannada means candy) or his humble chef, one factor is for sure – the delicacy has continued to inform its story nearly a century later. 

The Humble Pak

There’s little in Mysore Pak when it comes to substances that advantage the royal remedy it was granted. However the king (a meals connoisseur who maintained an elaborate kitchen at Amba Vilas Palace) liked the flavour a lot, he wished his residents to partake within the expertise, thus asking his chef to start out a  candy store proper outdoors the palace. This was the start of Mysore Pak’s unbelievable journey throughout South India. 

Guru Candy Mart is run by the descendants of Madappa Instagram/@arjun.tjohn

What as soon as was a recipe of the royal kitchen is now an everyday fare in kitchens throughout the southern states, a lot of them promoting what they consider is the proper Mysore Pak. Essentially the most iconic kitchen, although, is a deceptively small retailer run by the descendants of Madappa himself. 

Guru Candy Mart

The trio of Kumar, Natraj and Shivananda run the modest retailer, promoting the most effective Mysore Pak within the metropolis; the recipe for the perfectly-made, smooth and texturous candy is stored safely like a state secret. Began initially as Desikendra Candy Stall on Ashoka Highway, the candy mart was later moved to Sayyaji Rao Highway, and referred to as Guru Sweets.  The shop immediately is thronged by loyal patrons all 12 months spherical. Shivananda, nonetheless, tells a barely completely different story when requested concerning the origin of the delicacy. 

What’s In A Identify?

Opposite to in style perception, Shivananda asserts that Mysore Pak was not an unintended discovery by Madappa; as an alternative it was created on the behest of the king. The identify Mysore Pak, got here from the phrase Paka, which was derived from the phrase ‘Nalapaka’ (The top chef in these days was referred to as nalapaka). The unique recipe, Shivananda says, was handed onto his household, which has continued the candy custom ever since. They supply the butter from native sellers and switch it into ghee, earlier than including turmeric, sugar and cardamom to the combo and churning out heat mithai that’s introduced from their residence to the store ever so typically.  

However the legacy of the candy was briefly beneath assault in 2016, the place flared tensions between India and Pakistan propelled many voters to demand boycotts of Mysore Pak, Karachi Halwa, Lahori Namak and different delicacies that bore any semblance to our estranged neighbour’s identify. Fortunately, the motion died down with out a lot ado. 

Mysore Pak’s Many Avatars

Right now, there are a lot of forms of Mysore Pak out there, together with a Guava Pak as properly  Instagram/gourmetbsc

Whereas the brothers at Guru Sweets think about their recipe to be the Holy Grail, Mysore Pak has rendered itself to many sorts immediately; there’s particular Ghee Mysore Pak, vegan Mysore Pak, Guava Pak, Carrot Mysore Pak and a sugar free model as properly. In Tamil Nadu, Sri Krishna Sweets remodeled the standard Mysore Pak into Mysurpa, a particular candy that’s their signature dish. Astonishingly, in 2016, they’d a world report on Mysurpa Day (20 September) by promoting 13,188 kg of the sweetmeat in beneath 3 hours.

No matter its origin story, there isn’t a denying that Mysore Pak is an irresistible ambassador of India’s wealthy culinary historical past to the remainder of the world, and continues to rule our palate even immediately.


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