Bengaluru celebrates poll win with Mysore Pak: Read about the iconic sweet’s history

Mysore Pak is not just a sweet. It holds the legacy of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV who greatly inspired those seeking a progressive and inclusive government in the state

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  15 May 2023 11:39 AM GMT
Mysore Pak-Read about the iconic sweet’s history

Photo Credits: Caramel Tinted Life. 

Bengaluru: Next time you visit Karnataka, you must first taste the delicious and popular Mysore Pak. After the Indian National Congress won the Karnataka Assembly elections with 135 seats, they started their celebrations with Mysore Pak.

There seems to be a craze for the sweet with the Opposition leaders being given boxes of Mysore Pak. Also, people who voted in the elections were given free Mysore Pak and dose by a restaurant.

Such scenes never happened in any other state, but it seems like the people of Karnataka are celebrating the success, adding a pinch of humour. They are not just celebrating the victory with the sweet but are indirectly boasting of the importance of their own state.

The accidental invention of Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak is not just a sweet. It holds the legacy of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV who greatly inspired those seeking a progressive and inclusive government in the state.

Kakasura Madappa, a head chef known for preparing sweets, began experimenting, wanting to present the king with something unusual. The Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, was a food lover and maintained a large kitchen at the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore.

One day, the king sat down to have his lunch, but his royal cook Kakasura Madappa had yet to prepare a dessert course. When the king inquired about the missing course, Madappa had no option but to think, and Mysore Pak was an invention that happened on the spur of the moment. The cook gave an unusual mix of gram flour, ghee and sugar, made a soft paaka (soft fudge-like mixture), and served it to the king.

When Madappa was called in and asked for its name, he said the first thing that came to mind—Mysore Pak (In Kannada, pak means a fudge-like mixture). The Maharaja loved the sweet so much that he asked Madappa to open a sweet shop outside the premises of the palace.

The recipe improved through the years. However, the original sweet made with the original recipe is still available at the famous Guru Sweets in Devaraja market, run by Kumar and Shivanand, the great-grandsons of Madappa.

One of the generations of Kakasura family, who continue the business

Actors get Mysore Pak during shootings

Renowned customers, including actors like Dr Rajkumar, Rajnikanth and Sivaji Ganesan and former Tamil Nadu CM late Jayalalithaa, used to get sweet parcels whenever they were in Mysuru for shooting.

Free Mysore Pak, Benne Dose for voting

Get your finger inked to savour a free dose and Mysore Pak. This is what Krishnaraja of Nisarga Grand restaurant did during the Karnataka Assembly elections in Bengaluru. His eatery put aside their regular business for the election results day and served free benne khaali dose, a piece of Mysore Pak, and juice to about 5,300 voters who voted.

Krishnaraj SP, the owner of Nisarga Grand Hotel, said, “I am extremely delighted that I was able to play a small part in encouraging people to come out and vote. The restaurant welcomed 5,300 voters who availed this generous offer, surpassing the 5,100 voters served during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when a similar opportunity was provided.”

Well-known Kannada actors Sundar Raj and Ramesh Bhat, renowned music director K. Kalyan, Kannada poet and Padmashree awardee Dr Dodda Range Gowda, were among those who took advantage of the offer.

Additionally, as an added incentive, the first 100 first-time voters who arrived at the restaurant were given free Kannada movie tickets.

Mysore Pak and its controversy

Mysore Pak, an iconic dish from Karnataka, got its Geographical Indication (GI) tag. However, there have been controversies over Mysore Pak earlier, when Tamilians and Kannadigas discussed the provenance of Mysore Pak.

In an incident, columnist Anand Ranganathan joked on Twitter that the Modi government had granted the GI tag for Mysore Pak to Tamil Nadu, the descendants of the Mysore Palace royal cook who “invented” the sweet have decided to officially file for the actual tag.

He tweeted that the GI tag of Mysore Pak has been granted to Tamil Nadu. “Pleased to receive this token of appreciation, on behalf of the one-man-committee for granting of the Mysore Pak GI tag to Tamil Nadu,” he wrote.

Shivanand Madappa, the great-grandson of Kakasura Madappa, said in a news report that this cannot be a joke, and they have decided to file for a GI tag.

Karnataka has the highest number of GI tag products in the country. Of the 42 products given the GI tag in the state, 18 belong to Mysuru alone, including Mysore Pak, Nanjanagud Banana, Mysore sandal soap, Mysore Mallige, Mysore beetle leaf, and Mysore silk.

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