Guyanese Parsad is made with parched flour, ghee or butter, milk, sugar, and spices. It is connected to all of my memories of my grandmother Evelyn. She was a Hindu and made sweets for every Hindu holiday and all of her poojahs or jhandis.
The parsad at poojahs came in a brown paper bag that was always stained by the grease from the ghee. I have a very distinct memory of the contents of this greasy brown paper bag. There was parsad, ½ of a small banana, a piece of watermelon, some pomegranate seeds and other sweets. I can still taste that banana and watermelon with little bits of parsad stuck to it.
What's in this post:
What is parsad?
For most Guyanese, parsad is simply this dish of flour cooked in ghee or butter. For most Indians Prasad is an offering made to a deity or God. And what I am making here with the the flour and ghee is called halwa, more specifically maida (all purpose flour) halwa. Some Hindus in Guyana also call this dish Mohanbhog as it is very similar to Bengali Mohan Bhog.
Parching the flour with Ghee
- Add flour to melted ghee or butter and mix until combined
- Keep stirring continuously until mixture is loose
- Continue to cook until mixture is slightly brown and begins the texture begins to change
- Cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning until mixture is brown and looks fluffy and a bit grainy but be careful not to burn the flour.
Keeping it Simple
I love good food but don't like complicated steps so to make my parsad I follow these simple steps:
- Add milk, spices, sugar and raisins to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil
- While the milk is heating up parch the flour
- Then add the hot milk to the parched flour and mix together.
It is that easy (a bit messy, but still easy)!
Printable Recipe Card
- 2 cups All purpose flour sifted
- 3 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar may also use brown sugar or Demerara sugar
- ¾ cup Ghee may also use butter
- 1-2 Cinnamon sticks may substitute for ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2-4 Cardamom pods
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raisins rinsed
- Combine milk, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract and raisins in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce the heat to low once the milk starts to boil
- While milk is coming to a boil, add a large saucepan to medium-high heat and bring up to temperature
- Then add the ghee and allow to melt completely
- When ghee is completely melted add the flour and mix together well, stirring constantly to prevent burning
- Continue to cook the ghee and flour mixture for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until it is light brown in color and a bit fluffy in texture
- Then remove from the heat and immediately add the milk, spices and raisins mixture to the cooked (parched) flour and butter and mix until completely combined and smooth
- Allow to cool then serve with some pomegranate seeds if you like.
- Combine milk, sugar, ghee or butter, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla extract and raisins in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat
- While milk mixture is coming to a boil, add a pan to medium heat and bring up to temperature
- When pan is hot add flour and toast/parch (continuously stirring to avoid burning) until flour is light brown in color.
- Then add the milk and raisins mixture to the flour and mix until completely combined
- Next reduce heat to low and continue stirring mixture until thick and smooth
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving