Sri Krishna Sweets style Mysurpa recipe
Recipe #14 OPOS Cookbook Project: Desserts
I think this dessert has been a game changer of sorts for the sweet shop businesses in South India. This sweet dish singularly has contributed to the monumental success of a business establishment, who claim this to be the “largest selling pure ghee sweet in India”. Such is the power of Mysore Pak !
I recall meeting the co-owner of SKS, Mr Murali during my college days, while he was actively sponsoring cultural programs across the city. And as college students, we were always knocking on such doors for our cultural’s sponsorship. That time, I remember asking him, as to why they chose to call it “Mysurpa” and not what it is usually known as “Mysore Pak” for which he wittily replied “If you utter Mysore Pak, with the strong “eK” sound, the sweet would just break” ! That is some mysurpa trivia, ah !
Coming to the OPOS project — All hell broke lose, when Rama Krishnan (founder of OPOS method), hacked the technique of making sugar syrup using a pressure cooker ! This “standardized” method of making sugar syrup paved way for hundreds of members (of the OPOS forum) taking advantage of it to make Indian sweets, which were normally reserved for the “skilled” ! De-skilling sugar syrup making remains one of the key “inventions” of OPOS methodology.
Now, let us look at how to make SKS style Mysore Pa, using the sugar syrup hack. The first and a very crucial step would be to roast the gram flour in ghee. For this, we will be using, 125 ml (1/2 cup) ghee and 100 grams of good quality gram flour/besan/kadalai maavu. Please be super disciplined and precise with the measurements. Even the slightest tweak will not yield the same texture of what we are aiming to get here.
In a pan or kadai, heat the ghee until it is slightly warm, not hot. Add the besan into the ghee now, and start roasting it in low flame or sim. If you are doing it in an induction stove that would be not more than 350w. Do not increase the heat at any point in this step. We will roast the gram flour ONLY in low flame. The gram flour + ghee mixture will be in a “paste” or what we call as a roux consistency. In the process of roasting, you will see (as shown in the pics above) the gram flour will go from pale yellow to golden yellow. We will have to rely on our sense of sight and smell here. The gram flour has to turn golden yellow and you will smell “roasted” flour and not “raw” flour. This took me 10 minutes to be precise. Once the flour turns golden, switch off and set aside. “Roasting of the flour” which is seemingly simple, was a huge challenge to many OPOSers who kept complaining of “raw smelling” mysore pa until a member, Lakshmi Sahambari came up with this method of making a roux and roasting the flour.
Next, we will do the sugar syrup using the pressure cooker. In a 2 liter pressure cooker, add 1 Cup sugar (200g), 1/4 Cup water (60ml) and 3 teaspoon of cooking oil or ghee. Again, I cannot stress enough on being super precise about the measurements. Cook on high heat (1100 w in an induction) for 4 whistles. This should approximately take anywhere between 3 to 4 minutes. Do not cook for more time. Switch off and release the pressure manually. Now, add the “golden” gram flour. Combine everything well and pour in a well greased container. If you want the same look as that of SKS Mysore Pa, I would suggest you use a deep container like the one I used here. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Cut into rectangles while still warm.
Wait for it to cool and set completely, which will take a minimum of 30 minutes. I know it is hard to resist, but the Mysore Paa (like Mr Murali says) is super delicate and we don’t want to damage them ! Once cooled, carefully remove from the container and serve !