|Call it what you want but this is one of the easiest and trickiest Traditional South Indian Sweets...|
Easiest because you can make it at short notice and
Trickiest because there is a 3 to 5 minute window, when you add the flour and if you miss it, you either end up with a goooeey mess which will stick to your mouth or a hard rock like substance for which you will have to use a hammer to break it.....
Before you get discouraged or lose heart, try my recipe once. I would suggest that you try this recipe with smaller amounts of everything.
I have had many versions of mysorepaks, (good and bad)
---The one you get in Krishna Sweets which is a famous Sweet Shop in Chennai, India (but it is a little too burnt for me).
---The one you get in weddings ( a little frothy on top and hard for me)
I know I am hard to please.... :)
But the one my mom used to make was just right, Her version was a nice rich yellow color, soft and was able to hold itself as a piece and also when you put it in your mouth, it would just melt soooo easily.....
My Mother was an amazing cook and an expert in making this sweet and would make large quantities of this for Deepavali or if an unexpected guest visits... This recipe makes the same texture as her mysorepak. I always think about her when I make this.... I make it a lot in my house, and it is one of my kids favorite sweets.
Another person I would like to mention is Late Mrs Ambujam Veeraraghavan, my friend Sabitha's Mother In law. She is the one who asked me to mix the ghee and the besan before hand, so as to make the process easier.
The basic measurements or ratio given in Meenakshi Ammal's book is
2 Cups Ghee: 2 Cups Sugar: 1 Cup (Chick Pea Flour).
(and 1/4 of the amount of sugar is the water you use to make the syrup.)
Please see this for the recipe of making the ghee yourself. Ghee is just clarified butter. You could buy it at an Indian Store, But it is not that had to make.
I usually reduce the sugar to a little more than 1 and 1/2 cup. For this post I used 1 and 3/4th, but still it is a little too sugary for me and my family....
Chick Pea flour is also called Besan. You can find it at any Indian stores. You can also look for them as Garbanzo Bean Flour.
So if you want to try to make them reduce all the amounts, and start with the 1/8th cup of Flour, 1/4 cup of Ghee and 1/4 Cup of Sugar (or lesser, how you prefer).
Preparation--- Step 1:
---Take a tray, and spread a little ghee so that when you are ready to pour the cooked mixture, it should be able to lift off easily without sticking to the tray.
---Mix the Besan and the ghee. (the books don't mention this, they usually add it separately to the sugar) but this step makes it a little easier.
---> In a big (preferably nonstick) vessel, pour the sugar and water and let boil on medium flame
for this above measurement you should be able to see the sugar dissolving in under 10 minutes and if you use a wooden spoon and take out some sugar you will be able to see a thread like consistency form the syrup on the spoon to the vessel.
This syrup consistency is the most important part, and really comes only with practice.
Another method is to drop a dollop of the syrup in a bowl of water and it should not dissolve.
Once you reach this consistency you should pour in your Flour and Ghee mixture in to this.
(This is the crucial step, cos if you put the mixture in too soon, you will end up with a gooeey consistency and too late it will be rock hard...)
---> The mixture will start bubbling
---> Keep stirring it clockwise and anticlockwise as fast as you can, the goal is not let it stick to a side of the pan, it will burn and smell.
---> At one point the whole mixture will try to stick to the wooden spoon and become kind of frothy
---> At this time, slowly pour it out on to the tray you have smeared with ghee and flatten this on to the tray so you will get even sized pieces.
---> If you delay pouring it out on the tray, the mysore pak will become brown and also have a burnt smell.
--->Let it Cool for a few minutes and then before it hardens, cut the pieces in to desired shapes with a sharp knife and remove and store. While its hot, leave the container open and when it is completely cooled, you can close the container... I guarantee that you will not sop with one piece..
(Wanted to add this as a side note, I made it again and reduced about two tablespoons from the 1 and 1/2 cups, and the sweetness was perfect for us.)