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Karah prasad is the holy pudding of the sikhs. Karah Prasad or Kada Prasad is sweet flour based oily vegetarian food that is offered to all visitors to the Durbar Sahib in a Gurdwara (Sikh worship place). This is regarded as food blessed by the Guru and should not be refused. All devotees who visit Gurudwaras on the occasion of Baisakhi Festival to celebrate the birth of Khalsa Panth receive Karah Prasad or Kada Prasad by the sewadars (volunteers). This kada prasad holds a lot of importance in Sikh faith. The religion gives prescribed method of preparation, distribution and the way of receiving kada prasad.
According to Sikh religion, Kara Prasad or the “Sacred Pudding” must be prepared following the prescribed rituals. The religion gives strict instructions that only the Karah Prashad, which has been prepared or got, prepared according to the prescribed method shall be acceptable in the congregation.
According to the religion, Karah Prasad should be prepared in the following method:
  • Place for preparation must be swept and plastered.
  • Cooking vessels must be scoured and washed clean.
  • The person preparing karah prasad must bathe and must utter only `Praise to the Guru'.
  • Fill a new pitcher with water.
  • In a clean large iron pan (karah), equal quantities of three contents - coarsely refined wheat flour (semolina), pure sugar and clarified butter or ghee should be put and it should be made reciting the Scriptures.
  • When the karah prasad is ready it should then be covered with a clean piece of cloth.
  • The prasad must be placed on a four-legged clean stool in front of the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • The first five and the last stanza of the Anand Sahib should be recited aloud (so that the congregation can hear).
  • If another vessel of the sacred pudding is brought in after the recitation of the Anand, it is not necessary to repeat the recitation of the Anand Sahib. Offering of the pudding brought later to the sacred Kirpan is enough.
According to Sikhism, before distribution, karah prasad should be touched with the point of a kirpan, to strengthen it symbolically. The share of the five beloved ones should be set apart and given away before being served to the rest of the congregation. Thereafter, while the general distribution, the share of the person in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib should be put in small bowl or vessel and handed over. The religion says that giving double share to the person in attendance constitutes improper discrimination. It has also be mentioned that the person who doles out the Karhah Prashad among the congregation should do so without any discrimination on the basis of personal regard or spite. He should dole out the Karhah Parshad equally to the Sikh, the non-Sikh or a person of high or low caste. While doling out the Karhah Prashad, no discrimination should be made on considerations of caste or ancestry or being regarded, by some, as untouchable, of persons within the congregation. Besides, the offering of Karah Prashad should be accompanied by at least two pice in cash.
Karah prasad is considered sacred in Sikhism and should be accepted with respect and in a proper way. The religion says that the person being offered Karah Parshad in the worship hall should accept it sitting down with cupped hands raised high to help Sewadar to serve with ease. The Prashad should then be transferred to the palm of one hand and eaten with the other hand.

Since, the prasad is prepared with high amount of sugar and oil it may not be suitable people suffering disease like diabetes. If such is a case or if you are not sure about the taste of the prasad, you may say “very small portion” to the Sewadar (volunteer) as he approaches you and before you put up your cupped hands. This is important as according to the religion, the prasad should not be refused or thrown away.

So before starting it, giving respect to its religious aspect, you need to foresee that you have the following things prepared.

A person preparing prashad is obligated to continually recite Sikh scripture such as:

  • Gurmanter - Waheguru, the Sikh name for God.
  • Mool manter - the opening verse of Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Japji Sahib - the morning prayer of the Sikh.

Two freshly washed steel, or iron, cooking pots and a stirring spoon are needed for the preparation of prashad. Set aside a steel or iron bowl (batta) to receive cooked prashad.

I learnt that the various stages of preparing karha prasad is given a specific name which is the prayer or gurumanter of sikhs. I would like to use the same in this recipe too namely, waheguru, ik onkar, sat naam, karta purkh, nirbhao, nirvair, akal moorit, saibhang and gur prasad.

Let me share this sacred pudding recipe withh you all with due respects to sikhism and waheguru.



Ingredients:

1 cup ghee or unsalted butter

1 cup atta (wheat flour)

1 cup sugar

3 cups of water.


Method:

  1. Measure all ingredients. Waheguru.
  2. Add sugar to water and set in pot to boil. Ik Onkar.
  3. Melt ghee or unsalted butter in a pan.
    To clarify unsalted butter heat and skim off foamy curds and spoon out solids from bottom of pan. Sat Naam.
  4. Add whole grain flour (atta) to melted butter. Karta Purkh.
  5. Stir mixture continuously to lightly toast flour. Nirbhao.
  6. Continue stirring flour and butter mixture while sugar boils to make light syrup.
    Butter separates from toasted flour turning a deep golden color with a nutty aroma. Nirvair.
  7. Pour boiling sugar syrup into toasted flour and butter mixture.
    Mixture will sputter. Take care not to be scalded. Stir rapidly until all water is absorbed. Akal Moorit.
  8. Keep stirring prashad as it thickens into a firm pudding. Ajoonee.
  9. Completely cooked prashad slides easily from pan into a steel bowl or iron batta. Saibhang.
  10. Bless the prashad with ardaas.
    Touch cooled prashad with kirpan at the appropriate time during ardaas
    Remove five portions to commemorate five beloved panj payara and serve to five Sikhs.
    Distribute remaining prashad to sangat, members of the congregation. Gur Prashad.

Preparation time: 10 inutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: about 4-16 persons depending on quantities. It is very sweet, so amount taken might differ from person to person. But once taken dont throw or refuse it, giving it its high respects.
Shelflife: 1 day.
Serving sugestion: Serve hot.


Note:
  • This is the traditional Karah Parshad which is served in Gurudwaras. No garnishing is added in it.
  • You can also use boiling water instead of cold water
    Stirring continously is important otherwise the mixture might stick to the botto
  • If you wish you can add cut almonds and raisins in it.


Click here to know more about Punjabi Foods and Cuisines - An Introduction To Punjabi Foods And Cuisines.







2 Responses
  1. reva Says:

    nice recipe i was going thro google search and found ur site cool and mouth watering dishes


  2. Colette Zabo Says:

    Sounds delicious. The Persians have something similar called halva. A more decadent version has saffron it it. KILLER good.


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