Published on July 8th, 2022 | by Shyam das | Full size image3
Vegetarian Cooking – The Art of Indian Sweets
Delicious Treats of Indian Cuisine
Have you ever tasted some well-cooked Halava? A Laddhu, or Sandesh? Have you ever popped a whole Gulab-jamun into your mouth and had the sweet syrup burst out of the cake-ball into your mouth in a delightful explosion of sugary goodness? If so, then you probably know how wonderful Indian sweets can be. If not, then it may be time to experience.
Preparing Indian Sweets
Preparing Indian Sweets can be a challenge. Getting them just right requires the right proportions of ingredients as well as proper preparation. Thanks to the guidance of Krishna Priya Dasi in her book “The Art of Indian Sweets“, the recipes and process of preparing Indian Sweets is now available to the masses.
The Art of Indian Sweets – Krishna Priya Dasi
In this collection of traditional Indian sweets, Krishna Priya Dasi shows us how to make 56 delicious sweets including halva, laddu, sandesh, jamun, pera and many more.
Krishna Priya Dasi
Krishna Priya Dasi is native to Jaipur, India. She has prepared thousands of delicate treats for Sri Sri Radha Golokananda and is now sharing her recipes with this cookbook.
Krishna Priya Dasi:
“Cooking is an art and one of the most wonderful ways to please someone. This art becomes transcendental and therefore meaningful if one cooks for The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, ‘the reservior of all pleasure.’ I have had many pleasent experiences in the art of cooking for Lord Krishna, although I have had to face some seemingly impossible challenges in my life, due to my physical limitations.
I was born in Rajasthan, India, and was raised in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The land of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Dev Ji. I was born with a disability and as a result of this, have had heavy challenges with my bones as well as the rest of my physical structure. I also stand less that four feet tall. Because of all this I was unable to go to school like the other girls and I had to stay at home with my mother. While there I would watch her very carefully as she cooked; she cooked three times a day. Her style was very simple. She didn’t use many ingredients and used only a few steps to prepare something — and the tastes were always wonderful. My mother was always very protective of me and although I had an intense desire to cook, I was scared to ask her because I was sure she wouldn’t let me — I was barely 11 years old. However when she went out one time, I tried to immitate her cooking. Upon her return she was very surprised but also upset as something could have happened in her absence. After that she allowed me to cook in her presence, and it was at this point that cooking became an everyday activity for me. Needless to say, I was very happy. A little while later I went to a cooking school in Jaipur, and although I was the youngest student in the class, I was able to earn a diploma.
Several years later, in 1988, I joined ISKCON. One devotee from New Delhi Temple, Jitamitra Prabhu, helped me on the devotional path and introduced me to His Holliness Lokanatha Swami from whom I took initiation in 1992. My godsister, Prasanta Devi Dasi, had encouraged me to offer my food to Lord Krishna, and when I did so, I felt I had received special blessings from the Lord. I never thought that, however, one day I would be able to cook for the Deities in an ISKCON temple.
By Lord Krishna’s and my spiritual master’s arrangement, in 1996 I moved to New Goloka in Hillsborough, NC, USA after marrying Gopal Prabhu. Just a few days after my arrival one devotee asked me to help her roll besan laddu. It was my first time in the Deities’ kitchen and I felt ecstatic. After that several devotees asked me to regularly help roll sweets for the Deities, Sri Sri Radha Golokananda. I so much desired to personally cook traditional Indian sweets for the Deities, especially sweets from Rajasthan, but it was difficult in the temple kitchen — everything was huge. After a few months my husband hired someone to build a kitchen in my home which was suitable for my size and I was then able to make sweets as a regular service. I began to cook complicated Indian sweets and realized I needed to simplify the methods. From then on I started to write my own recepies. I recieved a lot of appreciation and encouragement from the devotees and visitors but I never thought I would write a cookbook.
Some years past and in 2005 I had to undergo major brain surgery in India and almost died. But my life was saved in a miraculous way by the mercy of Lord Krishna and His devotees. During my recovery period from this long and intense illness, I often thought that, had I left my body, all my recepies would have been lost. Upon my return to New Goloka after the surgery, I concluded that I should compile them into a cookbook because I wanted to share with others how cooking for Krishna is such a wonderful experience. To this day, I still struggle while cooking because my bones are weak and because my condition worsened after the brain surgery. But these challenges do not bother me when I start to cook for Krishna; I always experience inner satisfaction.
It is difficult for me to walk from my house to the temple to deliver the sweets I make for the Deities. I often stumble along the way. Sometimes I have to sit down and rest. The distance seems like many miles to me due to my physical disability, though my home is only a few minutes walking distance…”
I loved Indian Recipes & sweets very much.
What about my dog that has always eaten moist and dry dog food? Should I change it? I’m worried about health issues. What about offering/sacrifice? I also am wondering what is proper sacrifice/offering to Krishna when I eat something worthy? I am very new and am reading and trying to understand. Research stage maybe. Thanks and Hare Krishna.
Hare Krishna Chris
You should worry about becoming Krishna conscious yourself first, don’t worry about your dog. Dog’s can eat meat. That is their nature. But really devotees generally don’t keep dogs and if they keep dogs they are not going to feed them meat. They will feed them rice and whatever scraps there are. The dogs will eat it. But anyhow at the moment it is pointless worrying about your dog. You have to become Krishna conscious yourself and the first thing to do is follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. And chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra a day and read Srila Prabhupada’s books every day. If you do these six things seriously you will see that quite quickly the clouds of maya will lift in your life and everything will become clear and so many of your questions will be automatically answered.
So just take to the process of Krishna consciousness yourself seriously and don’t worry about your dog at this point. Just go on with whatever you were normally feeding him, you can fix it later.
You can only offer things to Krishna that have been cooked by a devotee of Krishna, and you can offer some things like water, fruit, milk products, etc. We do not offer directly to Krishna. Krishna is not going to accept anything directly from us. However Srila Prabhupada is very merciful and no matter how unqualified we may be if we make a sincere offering to Srila Prabhupada then he will accept it. There are some mantras for offering food but if you don’t know them you can just chant Hare Krishna. Better to chant at least Srila Prabhupada’s pranams [if you don’t know them you should learn them] three times then sri Krishna caitanya prabhu nityananda sri advaita gadadhara srivas adi gaura bhakta vrinda, three times then Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare three times. There are two other mantras also but you can learn them later. The mantras are very potent but the most important thing is to have the real feeling that you are preparing an offering for Srila Prabhupada and actually feel that you are cooking for him, for his pleasure. Not that you are making something for yourself to eat.
Of course this feeling will only develop as we advance in Krishna consciousness so even if in the beginning you just make offerings in an official way and chant the mantras you will be purified and gradually the love for Krishna that is dormant within your heart will be awakened and you will begin to feel transcendental pleasure from the spiritual platform.
But honestly nothing is going to happen until you become determined to strictly follow the four regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra a day. And try very sincerely to do this. Then you will start feeling some good results. You may fail also. Sometimes you may not be able to stick to the principles in the beginning. So that is also understandable but you should never give up hope and you just have to keep becoming very determined to follow the principles and keep chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and you will be successful. It may take some time. You have to become enthusiastic, determined and patient.
And after you do cook something nice and offer it to Srila Prabhupada and eat the prasadam yourself you can give the left-overs to your dog and that will help him advance spiritually too.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!