Karah is a type of Whole-wheat or semolina halva, a kind of sacred sweet pudding made with equal portions of whole-wheat flour, clarified butter, and sugar. It is offered at the end of a prayer service to devotees who visit Gurudwara. Prepared with high amount of sugar and ghee content, visitors may ask the Sewadar (service-man) for a small portion (But I always drool for bigger portion).
In Sikhism, Karah Prasad is considered as sacred and should be received with cupped shaped hands as the offering and receiving of this food is a vital part of hospitality.
Kara Prasad or the “Sacred Pudding” is considered a delicacy and must be prepared with the following rituals. Sikh gives strict instructions that only the Karah Prashad, which has been prepared according to the prescribed method shall be acceptable in the congregation.
- Place must be swept and plastered.
- Cooking vessels must be washed clean.
- Fill a new pitcher with water.
- The person preparing karah prasad must bathe and utter ‘Praise to the Guru’.
- Equal quantities of three ingredients – refined wheat flour (semolina), pure sugar and clarified butter or ghee should be put in a clean large iron pan reciting the holy prayers.
- Once the Karah prasad is ready it should be covered with a clean piece of cloth.
- The Karah prasad must be placed in front of the Guru Granth Sahib on a four-legged clean stool.
- The Anand Sahib should be recited aloud (first five and last stanzas).
- The prasad is stirred with the sacred kirpan and the share of ‘Panj Pyaras’ (first five beloved ones or members of Khalsa), should be kept aside and given away.
- Lastly, the prasad is distributed among all the visitors in the gurdwara.