Malpua : Fried Indian Pancakes

What are the things that make you nostalgic? Everyone may have a different list, yet some things make their way to almost every list. Dig deep into the age that you left behind, the age when the "F" word only stood for amazing things like Friends (those you miss now), Fun (that you had) and Food (that your grandmother/mother made). Yes, you have moved on, from friends to friends' list, from fun to phone and from food to Photoshop. Yet there are things that can almost take you back to those times by means of some divine intervention. Things like a recipe from those times, that you had somehow managed to store up somewhere. The very smell and taste of it makes you travel in time. It's almost like you are flipping through old photographs and you are there, reliving those cherished memories. Malpua is one such cherished things, as it was a part of many festivities and special occasions. And for some of us malpua itself made the occasion special. The deep fried goodness of a flavorful batter and then the sugar syrup giving it the ultimate sweet touch of love, yes, it is heavenly. There are variations of this found all over India, not much in terms of method but in terms of ingredients. Some recipes use bananas while others use coconut. My Mom's recipe uses none of these though, yet I think it's the best, may be because of the subtlety that is inherent in it's simplicity. So, here's the recipe, go get a taste of your childhood or mine, if you didn't grow up eating this.



For the batter

All purpose flour: 1 cup
Semolina: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds: 1 tbsp
Milk: 2 1/2 cups

Oil for deep frying

For the sugar syrup

Sugar: 2 cups
Water: 1 cup
Green cardamom: 3
Lime juice; 1/2 tsp


Prepare the sugar syrup by following the steps below:
  1. In pan add sugar, water and green cardamoms. Let it come to boil.
  2. Add few drops of lime juice. This helps to cleanse the sugar and prevents it for crystallization when cold.
  3. Reduce the syrup to one string consistency. To check the right consistency dip a spoon into the syrup and take it out. When the syrup on the spoon cools down a little, take it between your fingers and see if a single thread is formed when you pull the fingers apart.

For the pancakes:

Prepare the batter by mixing all the ingredients and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan and drop spoonful (small serving spoon) of the batter into the oil to from small fluffy pancakes.

Fry till nice and brown.

Take it out from the oil and dunk it into the sugar syrup. Let it soak for about an hour.

Your malpua is now ready to serve.

Photographs by Swakshar Ghosh.


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