Pak-ed with goodness

Updated: Sep 19, 2019, 08:30 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

While netizens battle over the origin state of the much-loved Mysore pak, we hunt for the best places to enjoy the sugary treat in Mumbai

The feuds over Geographical Indication (GI) — a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin — are hardly as sweet as the treats these battles are typically over. After a never-ending tussle between West Bengal and Odisha, over which state can claim the origin of rosogolla, a new war had emerged between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

This time, the focus is on Mysore pak, a rich, fudge-like mithai that is synonymous with sinning. It all started with a joke, though, when author and columnist Anand Ranganathan shared a picture with Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman online, accompanied by a caption that read, "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. Talks are proceeding smoothly." It was, of course, intended as a joke, but regional TV channels and publications started sharing it as a news byte. What followed was an Internet war over the sweet’s history of origin, and while netizens kept themselves busy with a verbal combat, The Guide set out on a hunt for the best Mysore pak available in the city. Dig in.

Unctuous goodness

pak

In Mumbai, Mysore pak is synonymous with this sweet shop’s name; ask a fan of the treat and they’ll cue you to one of Sri Krishna Sweets’ outlets. Incidentally, Tanjore Tiffin Room, a diner at Versova that also serves the treat, sources it from this brand. Explaining why they outsource their Mysore pak, Prashant Pallath, the restaurant’s owner tells us, "When someone is doing it for years, and they excel in it, then we must honour their expertise."

 At Shri Krishna Sweets (Mulund West, Vashi and Chembur).
Time 9 am to 9 pm
Call 27664131 (Mulund West)
Cost R565 per kg

What’s up, Bengaluru?

pak

Although based out of Bengaluru, Anand Sweets and Savouries have become so loved for their creations that they have an online portal delivering all across India. Touting it the pride of Karnataka, here, the gooey chunks of goodness are prepared with ghee, gram flour, sugar and a dash of cardamom to give it an edge.

At Anand Sweets and Savories.
Log on to https://anandsweets.in
Cost R324 for 500gm

A slice of Mysore

pak

At Matunga’s famed Udipi eatery, Café Mysore, the traditional mithai is decadent, but comparatively lighter than the version served at Sri Krishna Sweets, who are famous for their prowess in sweet-making. The aftertaste explodes into a layer of a ghee-loaded happiness on the palate.

 At Cafe Mysore, Bhaudaji Road, Matunga East.
Time 7 am to 10 pm
Call 24021230
Cost R320 per kg

This is how it crumbles

pak

At a mithai shop in Bandra East, the Mysore pak resembles a honeycomb. Made with besan, sugar and dalda or hydrogenated vegetable oil, these sugary cubes have a distinct sweetness and a brittle texture. Datta Nayak, who mans the desk here, tells us, "Our version of the Mysore pak is porous, unlike the authentic version, because we use dalda instead of ghee."

 At Shree Ramnath Dairy & Sweet Mart, Government Colony, Bandra East.
Time 5 am to 10 pm
Call 26512770
Cost R300 per kg

With love, from Coimbatore

pak

"We make our Mysore pak in-house with besan, sugar and shuddh ghee, which we source all the way from Coimbatore," informs KS Narayanaswamy, owner of Mani’s Lunch Home that specialises in an array of delicacies from South India. Here, the mithai has a supple texture and a rich flavour that you can only indulge in if you aren’t counting the calories.

At Mani’s Lunch Home, Komal Building, Road Number 2, Chembur East.
Time 7 am to 10.30 pm
Call 25200201
Cost R480 per kg

Also check out

Purshottam Kandoi Haribhai Damodar Mithai
At Santacruz West.
Call 26615511

Cafe Madras
At Matunga East.
Call 24014419

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