Parsad or prasad is a special East Indian sweet made for Hindu religious ceremonies.
It is made with ghee (or clarified butter), flour, milk, sugar and spices like cardamom and ginger. This recipe also uses cream of wheat and has a wonderful texture and taste.
Here’s more on making Trini parsad.
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What is in this parsad recipe
For this particular recipe, you will need:
- ghee (clarified butter)
- bay leaves
- cream of wheat
- powdered milk (I use full cream)
- spices like ginger and cardamom
There are a couple ways to make parsad with different ingredients.
For instance, you can use condensed milk and whole or evaporated milk in place of the powdered milk. You can also use other spices like cinnamon and even a little nutmeg. And, you can try using flour only.
The recipe I am using is a traditional family recipe that has been scaled down to make a pound of parsad on the stove. It’s not too dry or greasy and the spice flavors shine through.
How to make parsad
To make parsad, ghee is heated before adding flour and cream of wheat. The flour is patched for several minutes and develops a light brown color. Then, raisins, a runny spiced syrup and warm milk is added in and mixed together until the parsad forms a crumbly texture.
The process is pretty straightforward but you will need some muscle, especially at the end, when the mixture becomes difficult to turn.
Let me break down how to make parsad.
Step 1: Measure out all the ingredients. Wash the bay leaves and dry them. They go into hot ghee so you don’t want them to be wet. Wash the raisins too. Sift the flour. Peel and grate the ginger. If you are using whole cardamom, grind them with a little sugar in your coffee grinder and sift the grounds. Discard the larger particles or regrind and sift again.
Mix the milk
Step 2: Add the full cream milk powder to 2 cups of lukewarm water. Whisk until the powder is fully incorporated. Strain to ensure there are no lumps.
Make the spiced syrup (paag)
Step 3: Place a small pot on low heat and add about 4 cups of water. Pour in the sugar, freshly grated ginger and cardamom. Boil on low heat until you are ready to use it in the parsad. Here, it boiled for about 20 minutes or so.
Step 4: Place a large heavy-bottom pot on medium heat and leave to heat up for about 10 minutes or so.
Step 5: When nice and hot, add the ghee. Stir to distribute the heat and ensure even melting.
When making parsad, you should use thick, sturdy wooden spoons or paddles (called a dabla). They can turn the parsad without twisting or breaking and won’t get hot. You can find wooden dablas on Amazon here.
Step 6: After two or three minutes of heating, toss in the bay leaves. Allow to fry and flavor the ghee for about two to three more minutes.
Step 7: Remove the leaves and turn the heat to high.
Step 8: Next, add the flour all at once. Mix in quickly to incorporate the flour fully into the hot ghee. It should eventually become a thick, cream slurry.
Step 9: Stir continuously on high heat for 5 minutes.
Step 10: After the five minutes, set the heat to low and stir continuously for another 10 to 15 minutes. At this point, you want the flour to cook properly and develop a light brown color.
Mix in cream of wheat and raisins
Step 11: When the color is to your liking, mix in the cream of wheat and continue stirring for a couple of minutes. After that, toss in the raisins and mix again.
Add paag and milk
Step 12: Turn the heat up to the high setting.
Step 13: You can mix the paag or syrup into the milk and add the mixture to the parsad pot. Or you can add half of the hot paag, all of the milk and then the remaining paag. It doesn’t really matter how the paag and milk are added at this point.
Step 14: Now, you’ll need some muscle. Mix everything together until all the liquid has boiled off and you are left with a crumbly flour parsad.
Step 15: Remove from the heat immediately and transfer to a large basin or tray. Leave to cool and break up large clumps before serving.
Most often, parsad is used first in Hindu ceremonies. Then it is bagged and served with prunes, almonds, dates, fruit, and other Indian delicacies like barfi, coconut barfi, kurma, gulab jamoon, ladoo, roat and more.
Parsad with cream of wheat recipe
- 5 oz ghee
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 oz flour
- 5 oz cream of wheat
- 2 oz raisins
- 6 oz sugar
- 3 oz full cream milk powder
- 1 pack cardamom (11 g)
- 1 oz ginger
- 6 cups water (4 cups for syrup; 2 cups for milk)
- Wash and dry the bay leaves and raisins.
- Sift the flour.
- Peel and grate the ginger (remove strands).
- Grind the cardamom until fine. Sift to remove large pieces.
- Mix the full cream milk powder with 2 cups of water. Whisk fully. Strain to remove lumps.
- Place a small pot on low heat.
- Add 4 cups of water.
- Stir in sugar, grated ginger and ground cardamom.
- Simmer on low heat until needed (20 minutes or so).
- Place a large, heavy pot on medium heat.
- Leave to heat up (10 minutes).
- Add ghee and allow it to melt (2 – 3 minutes).
- Add dried bay leaves.
- Allow the leaves to fry (2 – 3 minutes).
- Remove the leaves.
- Turn the heat to high.
- Add all of the flour.
- Stir continuously to incorporate (preferably with a sturdy wooden utensil like a dabla).
- Continue to stir for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stir continuously (until the flour slurry develops a light brown color).
- Add cream of wheat.
- Stir for 2 minutes.
- Add raisins and incorporate.
- Set the heat to high.
- Add half of the paag, all of the milk and the remainder of the paag.
- Stir until the liquid has boiled off leaving a crumbly flour parsad (mixing will be harder since the parsad becomes thick and heavy).
- Remove from heat.
- Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Break up large clumps before serving.