Two of my fondest memories of Deepavali are the smell of fresh, hot-off-the-stove mysore pak within the house and the fumes from firecrackers outside. My mom would spend the day before Deepavali in making various kinds of sweets and savories that culminated in dinner(the high point) – poori-masal – poori with potato masala, one of the most popular dishes in South India. She always started with Mysore Pak – a simple sweet, containing just 3 ingredients yet complicated in its own way and hence, difficult to master. It also happens to be one of my favorite sweets (well, I am a self-confessed sweet-o-phile 🙂 ), so I try to follow my mom’s tradition and make mysore pak first and stop right there, as well – he he!
This year, M (who comments here regularly) and I decided to get together to make the Deepavali bhakshanam(snacks). M’s mom (who again is a regular reader / commentator of this blog) had already made yummy omapodi (thin sev flavored with ajwain) and “Deepavali marunthu”, literally means “Deepavali medicine”, which is quite unique to Deepavali. Made of medicinal elements like pepper and ginger, a small bit of this marunthu goes a long way in healing indigestion after gorging during the festival.
Impressed and high on confidence by the success of our Mysore Pak adventure, we decided to prepare another sweet as well – Payatham urundai (Moong dhal balls – also known as Neyyi urundai as per Spillay), the recipe of which will appear soon in this space. Now, it is Mysore Pak time!
Besan – 1 cup
Sugar – 2 cups
Ghee – 1 cup
Roast besan with 1/4 cup of ghee till the besan is devoid of its raw smell.
In a thick-bottomed vessel, add sugar and just enough water to immerse it to prepare sugar-syrup to one-string consistency.
Add the besan and remaining ghee alternatively to the sugar syrup, mixing well so that no lumps are formed.
Cook till the mixture becomes frothy and starts leaving the edges. Pour this to a greased plate and cut it into diamond-shaped pieces.
The trick to a good Mysore Pak is to know the right stage to stop cooking the mixture; if under-cooked, it will not solidify and if over-cooked, it will get as hard as a rock. Personally, for me it has been a lesson learnt through trial and error – there is no science to it 🙂
This is my first entry to the November edition of JFI – Festival treats hosted by Srivalli.