One of my favorite features on Fresh-Picked was the virtual Indian market tour of Apna Bazaar in Bellevue.
Our guide for the tour was local cooking teacher Karuna. If you want to learn Indian cooking, Karuna is a great resource. Karuna’s food is delicious and her recipes are very easy to follow – I’ve been making her channa masala as a freezer staple for years now.
Another bonus with Karuna is that she’s interested in health and nutrition; her classes can be tailored to those interested in Ayurvedic medicine, and her recipes – like that channa masala – are often vegan and low-fat (although you’d never guess it from tasting them).
While Karuna can offer up many healthy recipes and techniques, this recipe is a special one she provided for a series I did on the holiday Diwali. Like many holidays, this special time of year means special treats. Here’s Karuna’s recipe for Mysore pak, and some words from her about the holiday.
Mysore Pak Recipe by Karuna
Karuna writes: Diwali is a time of celebration and eating - we make a lot of sweets and exchange it with friends and family (similar to the cookie exchange for Christmas here). A huge variety of sweets is the tradition. It used to be where sweets are almost always home made, but now a days it is store bought that comes nicely packaged and easy to distribute to friends.
The one sweet that is quite popular in South India but is very traditional in all regions of India and is quite famous in the diwali season is called Mysore Pak.
- 1 cup Channa Dal or Bengal gram flour (Besan) (you can find this at Apna Bazaar, from our tour)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups ghee or clarified butter
- 1 cup water
- Sieve the bengal gram flour (besan).
- Roast it on a hot griddle for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Make sure it is evenly heated as it can burn and turn brown very easily. Set aside.
- Heat half the ghee (clarified butter) (1 1/4 cup) in a pan.
- Put the sugar in another pan and add 1 cup of water to it. Cook till it becomes sticky syrup, similar to the consistency for making fudge.
- Add the roasted flour to the sugar syrup stirring constantly. Note: It is very important to keep stirring constantly so it does not form lumps.
- On a second burner warm the ghee to a melted state to get it ready to add to the sweet.
- For this step you might need to get assistance. Pour the ghee in a steady stream into the flour and sugar mixture while stirring.
- Add the rest of the ghee and stir in. Keep stirring constantly inside out. When it is almost ready you will start seeing air bubbles making it look like a sponge.
- Spread some ghee on a shallow plate.
- Pour the hot sweet mixture on the plate
- The sweet will set within minutes.
- Using a sharp knife cut into small desired shapes, before it cools down too much as it might get harder to cut.