Karah Parshad

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In Sikhism, Karah is a type of semolina halva made with equal portions of whole-wheat flour, clarified butter, and sugar. It is offered to all visitors to the Darbar Sahib in a Gurdwara. It is regarded as a treat for attendees of gurmat seminars.

As it has a very high sugar and oil content, visitors may ask the Sewadar for a small portion. As a sign of humility and respect, visitors accept the Karah sitting, with hands raised and cupped. The offering and receiving of this food is a vital part of hospitality protocols.

It has the same amount of whole-wheat flour, clarified butter and sugar, to emphasize the equality of men, women and minors. The Sewadar serves it out of the same bowl to everyone in equal portions. The Karah is a sacred food; if it is not accepted, it may be interpreted by some Sikhs as an insult.

Karah is also taken at the initiation ceremony of Amrit Sanchar at the very end where it is shared out equally among all. It is a symbol showing that everyone is equal.