A fierce war of words has erupted between Tamilians and Kannadigas on social media over the provenance of Mysuru Pak. Both states are vying for the coveted GI tag for the confection. Who created the age old sweet dish? Did it really come from Mysuru, the old name for the state of Karnataka? - these are the questions being raised.
In 1835, British officer Lord Macaulay had talked about the origins of Mysuru Pak during an address in the Indian Parliament.
"One of my best friend from Bangalore told me that Mysuru Pak was invented by the people of Madras. Tamilians have been making Mysuru Pak for years, but 74 years ago, a lawyer from Mysore stole the recipe and handed over the secret formula to the king of Mysore. The king of then named the dish 'Mysore Pak'," Macaulay is believd to have said in a speech dated February 2, 1835.
Based on this story, Tamilians claim that Mysuru Pak belongs to them.
However, Kannadigas insist that the sweet desert was first prepared in the royal kitchens of the Mysuru Palace during the reign of Krishna Raja Wadeyar IV by a palace Kakasura Madappa. The royal chef made a concoction of gram flour, ghee and sugar. When asked its name, Madappa had nothing in mind, so he simply called it the 'Mysuru's pak', where pak is a Sanskrit word Paaka.
Mysuru Pak is famous in South India. Most marriages and other events include Mysuru Pak on their menu of sweets.