Prasad is a sacred offering to God that is distributed to devotees after being offered to the deity. Prasad is not only a symbol of devotion, but also a source of delight for many people. Different temples in India have different types of prasads, some of which are truly exceptional and mouthwatering. Here are nine temples in India that serve some of the most delicious prasads.
Guruvayur Temple, Kerala: Palpayasam
Palpayasam is a sweet rice pudding made with rice, milk, and sugar. It is served at the Guruvayur Temple, one of the most famous temples in Kerala. The palpayasam is cooked in large pots over firewood and has a rich and creamy texture. It is said that the palpayasam is so delicious that even Lord Krishna himself comes to taste it.
Jagannath Temple, Puri: Mahaprasad
Mahaprasad is a spread of dishes that are offered to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. The mahaprasad consists of khichdi, dal, vegetables, and desserts, among other items. The prasad is prepared in the temple’s kitchen, which is considered to be the largest in the world. The prasad is not only revered, but also delicious.
Chinese Kali Temple, Kolkata: Noodles and Chopsuey
The Chinese Kali Temple is a unique temple that was built by a Chinese family who migrated to Kolkata. The temple is located in Tangra, which is popularly known as Chinatown in India. The temple offers noodles and chopsuey, along with sticky rice and other dishes, as prasad. The prasad is a fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisines and is a treat for the taste buds.
Tirupati Balaji Temple, Andhra Pradesh: Laddu
Laddu is a popular dessert that is offered and received as prasad at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, one of the most visited temples in India. The laddu is made with gram flour, sugar, ghee, nuts, and raisins, and has a distinctive taste and aroma. The laddu is so famous that it has a geographical indication tag and is trademarked by the temple.
Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra: Chhabeel and Coconut
Chhabeel is a sweet beverage made with sugar, water, and flavourings, such as rose or khus. It is offered to the pilgrims who visit the Vaishno Devi Temple, a holy shrine in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir. The chhabeel is refreshing and energizing, especially after a long trek to the temple. The temple also offers coconut, dried apples, puffed rice, and white sugar balls as prasad.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai: Modak
Modak is a sweet dumpling that is considered to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite. It is offered and received as prasad at the Siddhivinayak Temple, a famous temple in Mumbai. The modak is made with rice flour, coconut, jaggery, and cardamom, and has a soft and chewy texture. The modak is a delicacy that is enjoyed by devotees and non-devotees alike.
Shrinathji Temple, Rajasthan: Mathadi and Thor
Mathadi is a deep-fried pastry that is dipped into a well of sugar syrup. It is served as prasad at the Shrinathji Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. The mathadi is crispy and juicy, and melts in the mouth. For those who prefer savoury prasad, there is also thor, a spicy and tangy pickle made with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chillies.
Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan: Besan Laddoo and Makhan Mishri
Besan laddoo is a round ball made with gram flour, sugar, ghee, and nuts. It is offered as part of the bal bhog, the first offering of the day, to Lord Krishna at the Banke Bihari Temple, a famous temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. The besan laddoo is soft and crumbly, and has a nutty flavour. Another popular prasad at the temple is makhan mishri, which is butter and sugar crystals, served in earthen pots.
Muniyandi Swami Temple, Tamil Nadu: Mutton Biryani and Chicken
Mutton biryani and chicken are non-vegetarian dishes that are offered to Lord Muniyandi, also known as Muneeswarar, who is worshipped as an avatar of Lord Shiva. The temple is located in Vadakkampatti, a small town in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The temple hosts a unique three-day festival every year, during which mutton biryani and chicken are served as prasad to the devotees. The prasad is cooked in large vessels and has a spicy and aromatic flavour.