As Dasara 2017 festivities near their climax, the taste and aroma of the legendary Mysuru Pak that has stimulated the taste buds or the sweet tooth of millions around globe is once again the option of tourists and locals alike for its taste and indeed its looks.
This sweet dish that has won the admiration of people having sweet tooth all across the county and major automated kitchens having multi national presence is a child of an accident. During the time of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (Third in the lineage of Krishnaraja) the ruler of Mysuru a master cook Kakasura Madappa churned out this three ingredient sweet dish in his bid to provide a special sweet dish to his lord one day say oral historian of the royal city Bhanu Prakash. “Yes the dish takes only three ingredients, Basin, Ghee and Sugar and yet it is so tasty and aromatic that one cannot stop at eating one piece” says Nataraj member of the family that runs the traditional sweet shop that specialises in making Mysore pak.
But in the recent times the demand for Mysore Pak has grown multifold. Surely it was due to the fact that, gourmets around the world arriving in Mysore for the 10 days Dasara festivities. “The aroma and the taste of Mysore Pak has caught up with them on a typical day we sell about 200 kgs, but during the ten days of dasara it goes up three fold to reach 700 kgs per day, I come across people from all parts of the country and some foreigners who come asking for the special Mysore Pak to my shop Guru Sweet Mart, there only one way to keep Mysore Pak’s traditional taste and aroma -the quality, my family which is now in the third generation of producing traditional Mysore Pak has strict quality check at every stage” says a beaming Nataraj.
Gururaj a Mysorian settled in Mangaluru for the last 50 years goes to Mysuru every Dasara period and gets few kgs of Mysore Pak and distributes to his Mangalurian neighbours, “They come back for more when it is time for Dasara” Gururaj says.
But Mysore Pak has not remained in the local circle cuisine, the Udupi cooks were fast to master it too. Jehangir Bhat of this temple town makes Mysore Pak just like the Mysurians do. “I have prepared Mysore Pak that has been served to Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar and his descendent Srikantadutta Wodeyar when they had lunch at Krishna Mutt. Even today I cherish the gold ring that was given to me by the royal family” Bhat says. R Venkatraman, Giani Zail Singh Presidents of India and late King Birendra and his Queen Aishwarya of Nepal have openly appreciated the Mysore Pak when they had lunch at Krishna Mutt.
The royal city apart from being awarded at least five GI indication tags for its agricultural and horticultural produce the aromatic and delicious sweet dish Mysore Pak has its own way to reaching into the hearts of the world. But it is surely during the nine days of Navarathri that the Mysore Pak gets record sales, to keep the deadlines with the demand the kitchens belonging to various sweet shops in the city go overdrive in production of this sweet.
Some of the areas like VV Mohalla, Jayachamaraja double road, Vontikoppal and Kuvempunagar where kitchens of some of the well known makers of Mysore Pak are located make people go crazy when they prepare it.
“The aroma is so appetizing that I must have at least a piece of hot Mysore Pak every day after lunch” says Janardhan Rao a resident of Vontikoppal. But more than the local denizens the Mysore Pak has endeared the gourmets elsewhere in the country particularly.
Though the Mysore Pak is produced in cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli, Dharwad, Pune and Mumbai the stock produced in Mysore during the Dasara gets around the country faster. “Whoever comes to Mysore for Dasara will take a few kgs of Mysore Pak when they return just to give it to their neighbours and friends says proprietor of Mahalakshmi sweets at clock tower near the Palace.