Karah Parshad is also known as Whole Wheat Halwa,or for many small kids just gurudware wala Halwa.As a kid I remember going to Gurudware on Sundays and on festivals and through out the Kirtaan and Path ,the one thing I eagerly waited for was the Path to get over and for all present to stand up.For me it meant that we are done for now and can move onto getting the Yummy,Delicious Parshad (This is not a speeling error.This is how it sounds in Gurudware"Parshad" instead of "Prashad").I believe it is not just me who did that....most of the kids I know today or even my cousins used to wait for Prashad.
My friend's son Harshiv is one such Kid.He will sit with his Father in the gurudware.Once the sewadar's start offering the Prashad,he will have his share,will not say no to his Dad's Share and then will run to his Mom to get her's.Anytime he is visiting me....I ask "you want sheera?" and his answer is "Gurudware wala?".
Coming to the religious significance of Karah Parshad,is a type of halva made with equal portions of wheat flour, ghee, and sugar. It is offered to all visitors to the Darbar Sahib in a Gurdwara. It is regarded as food blessed by the guru and should not be refused. As it has a very high sugar and oil content, visitors may ask the Sewadar for a small portion. As a sign of humility and respect, visitors accept the Karah Parshad sitting, with hands raised and cupped. The Sewadar serves it out of the same bowl to everyone in equal portions. 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.
Makes about 16 servings.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 cup ghee
1 cup whole Wheat flour (atta)
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
pinch of cardamom powder(optional)
10-12 Almonds slivered (optional)
1.Measure all ingredients.
2.Add sugar to water in a pot and let it boil.
3.Melt ghee in a pan,and then add the Whole Wheat Flour to ghee.
4.Keeping the Ghee-Whole Wheat flour mix on Medium heat,Keep stirring continously till the Whole wheat flour looses its light brown color to Deep Golden.At this point it will start giving a Nutty Aroma.
5.Also keep an eye on the water sugar mixture .Let the sugar melt completely and it forms a syrup.
6.Pour boiling sugar syrup into toasted flour and ghee mixture. Mixture will sputter. Take care not to be scalded. Stir rapidly until all water is absorbed.
7.Keep stirring prashad as it thickens into a firm pudding.
Note that I have said Cardamom Powder,Almonds and Cashews to be optional.In traditinal Karah Prashad,these 3 ingredients are not used.If you are making this Halwa for serving as dessert you can use all these items.Add Cardamom Powder to the sugar syrup,almost towards the end.You can add the Dry fruis(Cashews-Almonds) to the Ghee -Whole Wheat Mix while toasting the flour.
1.The recipe above uses equal quantity of Ghee,Sugar and Whole Wheat Flour.That same proportion of ghee to other ingredients is required if you are making the Halwa for Parshad,As lesser amount of ghee will make the Parshad crumbly and the crumbs can fall on the floor while offering Parshad.
2.You can reduce the amount of ghee to 1/2 or even 1/4 ,If you plan to serve the Halwa as Dessert (in bowls).For this remember to keep stirring the Whole wheat flour-Ghee mix continously,so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
3.This is a good snack for kids,especially Picky eaters(speaking from experience).Keep the Whole Wheat flour roasted ahead of time in a Air tight Container.When you need to make the halwa just make the Syrup and add it to the flour.
This goes to Nivedita from Nivedita's Kitchen for her Event Celebrate Sweet-HALWA.