Honoring Prasadam: Four of Srila Prabhupada’s Favorite Recipes | ISKCON News

This 12 months, ISKCON is celebrating the a hundred and twenty fifth beginning anniversary of its Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, born in 1896 in Calcutta.

Among his many contributions, Srila Prabhupada taught his disciples find out how to put together meals with love for Krishna, or God, and find out how to supply it to the Lord and settle for the sanctified meals as “prasadam,” that means “mercy.” Under Prabhupada’s route and inspiration, there at the moment are round 110 eating places serving pure vegetarian delicacies within the type of prasadam world wide, and Food For Life world charities feed thousands and thousands each day.

For Srila Prabhupada, prasadam was a non secular observe. “It’s the start of our non secular lives,” says Srutirupa Dasi, who served as Prabhupada’s prepare dinner, aiding Palika Dasi, from 1975 to 1977. “Not solely does it purify us, nevertheless it’s a whole meditation — the buying, the cooking, the providing, after which the consuming. It all goes collectively.”

She explains how Prabhupada honored prasadam, giving his full consideration to Krishna’s mercy with out the frequent distractions many are used to comparable to watching TV, driving, or chatting whereas consuming: “Srila Prabhupada ate in silence, and he ate alone. It wasn’t consuming, he was truly relishing. He was meditating on every dish. He noticed Krishna in every little thing.”

One of an important parts of cooking in Krishna consciousness is the concept we’re cooking for God, not for ourselves, and therefore cooking for Krishna helps us develop love for Him. “Prabhupada stated, ‘We prepare dinner what Krishna likes,’” Srutirupa explains. “And he would inform us, ‘I like what Krishna likes.’”

With that in thoughts, listed below are 4 of Srila Prabhupada’s favourite prasadam dishes (scroll to the underside for the complete recipes and cooking instructions).

1.     Kachoris

pea kachoris


Kachoris, fried spicy pastries stuffed with urad dahl or greens, are famously beloved by Srila Prabhupada. He was so keen on them that rising up as a bit of boy in Calcutta, his nickname was Kachori-mukhi, that means Kachori Face. According to the tales he informed later, his mom and grandmother would consistently make him kachoris, which he would preserve within the many pockets of his vest. He favored to look at the distributors cooking on the busy roadside, and would settle for kachoris from them and likewise from his neighbors, till all his inside and out of doors vest pockets had been stuffed.

Much later, whereas Prabhupada was visiting Wardha, Maharashatra in December 1976 for a Gita Conference, Srutirupa Dasi made contemporary pea kachoris for him. It was her very first time cooking the dish. “Srila Prabhupada received up from his seat, turned to me, and stated, ‘The kachoris are firstclass,” she remembers. “Then he turned earlier than he went into the toilet, and repeated, ‘The kachoris had been firstclass.” Then he got here out of the toilet and raised his finger, and stated, “The kachoris had been firstclass!” I believed I had arrived!”

2.      Shukta

According to Srutirupa, shukta, a Bengali bitter vegetable dish made with karela or neem leaves, was each day fare for Srila Prabhupada on his lunch thali. “As quickly as he sat down, he would say, ‘the place is the bitter?’ she remembers. “That was the very very first thing he would take, as a result of it’s an Ayurvedic precept that you just start a meal with a bitter dish, which tells the abdomen to begin producing digestive enzymes.”

While staying at ISKCON Juhu in Bombay in 1974, Srila Prabhupada may very well be seen on the roof of his residence, slicing karela up and letting it solar dry. “He would take it with him in his suitcase to journey, as a result of he all the time needed to have it every day,” Srutirupa says. “He would both eat it fried, as chips, or have it in a shukta.”

Srila Prabhupada eating at Radha Damodar

Srila Prabhupada honoring prasadam in his rooms at Radha Damodar in Vrndavan. This scene is typical of how he would eat alone; right here, he’s searching at Rupa Goswami’s samadhi.

3.     Chidwa

Srila Prabhupada completely liked chidwa, a snack made with fried flat rice and shredded potatoes, together with peanuts, raisins and spices. Srutirupa remembers how Palika Dasi would serve it to him for breakfast. One morning after breakfast, Srila Prabhupada informed his servant, “This chidwa is killing me,” a phrase he used freely when a dish was not so good for his well being.

The subsequent day, Palika didn’t put the standard chidwa on his plate. As quickly as he sat all the way down to breakfast, Prabhupada requested, “Where is my chidwa?” Palika replied, “Srila Prabhupada, it was delivered to my consideration that you just stated the chidwa was making you sick.” Nevertheless, he requested her to deliver it instantly, and upon receiving the dish, he joked with a smile, “What can I do? It is simply too good – I can’t cease consuming it!”

4.     Almond Sandesh

Almond sandesh

Almond sandesh. Credit: ISKCON Desire Tree

When it got here to sweets, Srila Prabhupada liked scorching jalebis, rasgullas, and gulabjamuns; nevertheless it was the silky easy milk candy sandesh that was on his breakfast plate day by day whereas Srutirupa was cooking for him.

“His favourite was almond sandesh,” Srutirupa says. “He known as it badam, which implies almond in Bengali. Sandesh is a Bengali candy, so it’s one thing that he was used to rising up with.”

Srila Prabhupada would generally ask his prepare dinner to depart some sandesh in a jar in case he received hungry at evening whereas translating his books. While in India, he would additionally ask a disciple to exit and buy milk sweets comparable to sandesh, which he would cross out to company.

“Prabhupada had company come to his room each night,” says Srutirupa. “Nobody left with out prasadam.”

And what higher to supply them than sandesh? “Sandesh is taken into account the king of Bengali sweets,” Srutirupa explains. “It’s easy, nevertheless it’s truly a really elegant confection. And it’s fast and simple to make.”



Prabhupada honoring prasad in mango grove

Srila Prabhupada consuming breakfast within the mango grove on his final journey from Mayapur to Calcutta in 1977. Srutirupa Dasi, within the white sari with the crimson border, is making ready his breakfast.

Pea Kachoris

Recipe by Yamuna Devi, from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine


2 cups (235 grm) unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon salt (5ml)

1/8 teaspoon sugar (0.5)

4 Tablespoons (60ml) ghee or unsalted butter, softened

7-9 Tablespoons (105-135ml) ice water

1 2/3 cups (400 ml) new peas or frozen child peas, steamed

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) ghee or unsalted butter

2-3 scorching inexperienced chilies, seeded and minced

1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of scraped, minced contemporary ginger root

¼ teaspoon (1ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing0

1 teaspoon (5ml) garam masala

½ Tablespoon (2ml) lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) baking soda

1 teaspoon of sugar

Ghee for deep-frying


1. Blend the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the softened ghee or butter and rub it in together with your fingertips till is absolutely included and the combination resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add a scant ½ cup (120 ml) of ice water and rapidly work the components to moisten the flour evenly till it may be gathered right into a tough dough. If needed, add the remaining water or as wanted to make a non-sticky, kneadable mushy dough. Knead on a clear floor for about 8 minutes or till the dough is easy and pliable. Shape it right into a ball, wrap with plastic and put aside in a cool nook to relaxation for ½ hour -1 hour whereas making the stuffing. (The dough will be made as much as 2 days prematurely, well-sealed and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature earlier than shaping and stuffing the kachoris.)

Alternately, match a meals processor with the steel blade, mix the flour, salt and sugar and course of till combined. Add the softened ghee or butter and pulse about 10 instances or till absolutely included. With the motor working, slowly pour in a scant ½ cup (120 ml) of ice water and course of till the dough varieties a ball. Remove it, form it right into a ball, wrap in plastic and put aside in a cool place whereas making the stuffing.

2. Place the peas in a bowl and mash with a fork till pulpy. Heat the 1 tablespoon (15ml) ghee or butter in a heavy nonstick frying pan over reasonable warmth. Add the inexperienced chilies and ginger and fry for about ½ minute, then observe with the asafetida. After frying for five seconds add the peas, garam masala, lemon juice, baking soda and sugar and stir-fry for a few minute. Remove the pan from the warmth and funky to room temperature. Divide the stuffing into 18 parts.

3. Divide the dough in half and roll each bit right into a log about 9 inches (22.5 cm) lengthy.  Cut each to yield 18 items. Shape each bit right into a easy patty and set them apart on a plate, with out touching. Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten it right into a 2 ½ -inch (6.5 cm) patty. Gently press across the edges together with your thumb and forefinger to skinny barely. Place a portion of stuffing within the middle of the dough, then deliver the perimeters of the dough over the filling to surround it fully. Pinch the seams collectively till totally sealed and easy. With the pastry resting in the precise palm, seam aspect up, press it with the heel of your left hand and flatten right into a 2 ¼ -inch (6 cm) patty, about ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick. (Try to keep away from skinny spots within the pastry casing, for they simply burst throughout drying. This permits oil to enter the kachori, which makes it heavy and greasy.) Place the pastry, seam aspect down, on a baking tray and canopy with plastic wrap or a moist towel. Shape and stuff the remaining items.

4. Slowly warmth 2 ½ inches (6.5 cm) of ghee to 300 F (150 C) in a 10-12 -inch (25-30 cm) karai (wok) or sauté pan over reasonably low warmth. Slip in 9 pastries, seam aspect down. The ghee will mechanically fall to about 225 F (107 C). Slowly fry the pastries for 24-27 minutes or till they sound hole when tapped and switch a pale gold coloration. They ought to be delicately blistered and crisp. Use a picket spoon for turning the fragile pastries (even chopsticks, if you’re adept at utilizing them). Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep heat in a 250F  (120 C) oven whereas frying the remaining pastries. Kachoris could also be made a number of hours forward and reheated, uncovered in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 10 minutes.



Recipe by Yamuna Devi, from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine


4 Tablespoons (60 ml) white poppy seeds

½ Tablespoon (7 ml) mustard seeds

2/3 cup (160 ml) water

2 small inexperienced bitter melon, (2 ounces / 60 grm every) or 25 slices of dried bitter melon 1/8 – ¼ inch (3-6 mm) thick

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) salt

½ – inch (1.5 cm) piece of contemporary ginger

1-2 scorching inexperienced chilies, seeded

3 Tablespoons (45 ml) chopped contemporary coriander

1/3 cup of cream or half & half

Ghee for deep frying


3 medium sized potatoes (about ¾ pound / 340grm), peeled and minimize into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1 medium sized yam, candy potato (about ½ pound / 230 grm), peeled and minimize into ¾ – inch (2cm) cubes

2 white icicle salad radishes or peeled carrots, minimize on the diagonal into ½ -inch (1.5 cm) slices

2 small Japanese eggplants (about 6 ounces / 170 grm), minimize into 1 -inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1 ½ cups (360 ml) inexperienced beans minimize into 2-inch (5 cm) items (about 8 ounces / 230 grm), steamed till half cooked

4 Tablespoons (60 ml) ghee or a mix of vegetable oil and unsalted butter

1 teaspoon (5ml) panch puran

2 ½ cups (600 ml) water or vegetable inventory

1 teaspoon (5ml) garam masala


1. Combine the white poppy seeds, black mustard seeds and a pair of/3 cup (160 ml) in a small bowl, cowl and put aside for a minimum of 4 hours or in a single day.

2. Place the contemporary bitter melon slices in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon (5ml) of the salt. Toss and put aside for a minimum of 20 minutes. Rinse with contemporary water drain and pat totally dry with paper towels.

3. Place the soaked seeds and soaking water in a blender or meals processor fitted with a steel blade. Cover and course of for 1 minute. Add the ginger, chilies and 1 Tablespoon (15ml) of the coriander and course of till easy. Strain by a high quality sieve positioned over a bowl contaiing the cream or half and half. Blend with the popy seed combination and put aside.

4.  Pour ghee or oil to a depth of two inches (5 cm) right into a deep-frying pan over reasonable warmth. When the temperature reaches 360 F (180 C) on a deep frying thermometer, individually fry batches of bitter melons, potatoes, yam, radishes or carrots and eggplant, till the greens are practically tender and golden brown. Remove every batch with a big, slotted spoon and put aside on paper towels to empty. Take the pan off the warmth.

5. Heat 4 Tablespoon (60 ml) of ghee or an oil-butter combination in a 4 quart / liter saucepan over reasonable warmth. When it’s scorching however not smoking, add the panch puran and fry till the fenugreek seeds flip golden brown. Pour ina bout 1/3 cup (60 ml) of the poppy seed cream combination and fry, stirring, till absorbed into the ghee or oil. Continue including the combination in ¼ cup (60 ml) parts, stirring, till it’s all accepted into the ghee or oil. Ad the water or inventory slowly and produce to a boil. Reduce the warmth to low and simmer, stirring sometimes, for 10 minutes.

6. Add the entire greens, the remaining 2 teaspoons (10 ml), salt and the garam masala. Gently stir, cowl and scale back the warmth to the bottom potential setting. Cook very gently for 10-Quarter-hour. Remove the pan from the warmth and permit the dish to relaxation for 10 minutes earlier than serving. Garnish with the remaining contemporary herb.



Recipe by Yamuna Devi, from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine


½ teaspoon (2ml) turmeric

½ teaspoon (1.5 ml) cayenne pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon (15ml) powdered rock sweet or maple sugar

2/3 cup (95grm) peanuts

½ cup (70grm) raisins

1 ¼ cups (75grm) thick flat rice (poha)

1 Tablespoon (15ml) fennel seeds

½ Tablespoon (7ml) cumin seeds

1 massive baking potato (8 ounces/230grm), peeled, coarsely shredded, soaked 1 hour in ice water, drained and patted dry

2 scorching inexperienced chilies, halved, seeded and minimize into lengthy skinny strips

Nut or vegetable oil for deep-frying


1. Combine the turmeric, cayenne, salt and sweetener in a bowl. And combine. Arrange mounds of peanuts, raisins, flat rice, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, shredded potatoes and chilies close to the frying space. Line two massive baking trays with a number of thickness of paper towels and preserve close by.

2. warmth oil to a depth of two ½ inches (6.5cm) in a karai, work or deep-frying pan over reasonably excessive warmth till the temperature reaches 375 F (190 C). (Do not fill the pan over half-full). Drop in a handful of shredded potatoes, stir with a knife and fry till crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Fry the remaining potatoes in the identical approach.

3. Reduce the warmth barely and permit the temperature to drop to 360 F (180 C). Place a handful of flat rice in a wire-mesh strainer and decrease it into the new oil. The oil will instantly froth after which inside a minute, settle: the flat rice is completed when crisp abut not brown. Remove the strainer shake off the surplus oil and place on paper towels to empty. Fry the remaining flat rice on this approach.

4. One after one other, fry every of the components in batches, inserting them within the strainer, then within the oil and frying till crisp and golden brown. (The raisins ought to be fried solely till they plump.) Drain on paper towels. Combine the entire components in a big bowl. While heat, sprinkle with the seasoning combination. Cool to room temperature earlier than storing in hermetic containers.


Almond Sandesh

Recipe by Yamuna Devi, from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine


Freshly made chenna cheese (web page 315 of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine) created from 2 quarts of entire milk

1/3-1/2 cup (70 – 110grm) of superfine sugar

2/3 cup (100 grm) blanched entire almonds, powdered or finely floor


1. Unwrap the pressed chenna cheese and switch it to a clear countertop, totally mix within the sugar, and bray the cheese till it’s and not using a contact of graininess. Add the bottom almonds and blend in totally.

2. Place a heavy-bottomed pan over the bottom potential warmth, add the cheese and stirring consistently with a picket spoon, prepare dinner for 10-Quarter-hour or till the floor turns into barely shiny and the feel is barely thickened. (The cheese will proceed to agency up because it cools.)

3. Scrape the Sandesh onto a buttered tray and press it out right into a 3 x 5 inch (7.5 x 10cm) easy rectangle. When totally cool, chill for ½ hour. With a pointy knife, minimize it into 3 strip 5 inches (12.5 cm) lengthy and 1 ¼ inches (3.5cm ) vast. Then minimize diagonally throughout the strips in alternate instructions to make 6 small triangles per strip. Mold the trimmings by hand into triangles.

4. When fully cool, retailer in single layers separate with parchment or waxed paper, in an hermetic storage container. Refrigerated they might be saved for as much as 4 days. 



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