There seems to be a competition for the richest, fat dripping mysore pak in Indian sweet shops. Sometimes, the amount of ghee is so much, you feel terrible after eating just one piece. Does it have to be this way? Let us look for a way to make it healthier.
Why do you want to ‘healthify’ it?
Traditional mysore pak has only 3 ingredients – Besan (chickpea flour), ghee and sugar). The reason they are such a staple in sweet shops and weddings is due to its low moisture content. The whole sweet is practically held together by ghee and sugar molecules that there is very limited opportunity for bacteria to grow even at room temperature. Remember, this is a very traditional sweet that has flourished in the era of no refrigerators and air conditioners.
Fast forward to the 21st century, we don’t have to stick to the original recipe when making it at home. Our kids get enough of chocolates and cookies in their everyday lives, that showering them with ghee laden desserts is unnecessary. We can keep the flavor profile, increase the moisture content and refrigerate it to lengthen its shelf life. Here’s how.
1) Chickpeas instead of besan
When you have cooked chickpeas available, why go for it’s dried counterpart – chickpea flour? And yes, my chickpea obsession continues. With such a great nutritional profile, chickpeas are a must in every vegetarian diet.
2) Butter instead of ghee, much lesser quantity
Ghee is basically butter with 20% the moisture removed. But, if you have a refrigerator, why not use butter, that has less fat density than ghee? I have also only used 1/4 cup of butter for 2 cups of chickpeas. Traditionally you use 1:1 ratio of ghee and besan.
3) Less sugar
Traditionally, you use 1-1.25 cups of sugar for every 1 cup of besan. I have used only 1/2 cup of sugar for the entire recipe. This was perfect level of sweetness for me and my family and not cloyingly sweet as the traditional ones.
There is no need to slave over the stove to make this mysore pak. This is a quick and easy – blend and bake version.
Upgraded Mysore Pak Recipe
2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned will also work)
1/4 cup butter (or .125 lbs by weight)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp elaichi powder
Preheat oven to 350F
Drain the water from chickpea can. Just use the chickpea part alone.
Pour all ingredients into a food processor. Blend all ingredients into a fine paste
Take a rectangular baking pan and butter the surface of the pan. I used a 6-cup, 8in x6in x 2in tray. You can use any similar sized pan.
Transfer the paste to the pan. Bake for 50-55 min. The edges should be brown and inserting a fork should come out clean
Let it cool for 10 min.
Cut it into squares. If any crumbs form, they can be molded into a round ladoo form as well.
Ta-da!! Upgraded Mysore Pak ready
I hope you try it. Once you get used to the subtleness of this home-made dessert, you will become more aware of the richness in the store bought ones.
If you want a truly rich Mysore pak, double the content of butter and bake it. Once you take it out of the oven, put it in the refrigerator overnight to firm up and then cut it into pieces. This yields a melt-in-the-mouth mysore pak. But, I personally felt the fat content was too rich on my tongue with this technique.
Finally, those of you who are familiar with S.V. Sekar’s jokes can stick around for this part. Whenever I think of Mysore pak – I think of this dialogue from the tamil drama ‘Kaatula Mazhai’ with great amusement.
Chennai le, Mount Road le, aduku aduku irruku mein, athu enna?
Ok, another question – LIC ku ethana maadi? 10? Slap!! 20? Slap!! So funny, ROFL!!! Best spy-password dialogue ever!!!