Malpua, Sweet Indian Pancakes
This dish used to be very popular during my childhood. It has somehow disappeared from the family menus in recent years. Here is a simple recipe for it, modified from my mum Yashoda's recipe. Serves 8
500 gm. plain white flour or maida
500 gm. sugar
2 cups water
A few strands of saffron or 1/4 tsp. green cardamom (illaichi) powder or both
1 litre full cream milk. You can use tinned, unsweetened condensed milk instead, which is already smooth.
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Ghee or oil for deep frying.
1 tbs. pistachio nuts or pista, blanched and thinly shredded or chopped
1 cup whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream or rabri
Reduce milk to one fourth by simmering on medium to low heat. Use a heavy bottomed pan and stir frequently. This is rabri or Indian style condensed milk.
Cool and beat milk, until smooth. You can use tinned, unsweetened condensed milk instead, which already smooth.
Sift flour and baking powder together. Make a batter by adding cool milk to the flour. It should be thin, like pancake batter, a pouring consistency. Leave aside for 10-20 minutes.
Boil sugar and water together to 1 thread consistency syrup. To test this, dip a wooden spoon in syrup, touch it with a forefinger carefully, it is very hot! Press fore-finger against your thumb and gently tease them apart. You should get one wire stretching between finger and thumb. Two wire consistency is too thick for this dish.
Add saffron or cardamoms to the syrup and keep it warm on very low heat or hot plate.
Heat 2 tbs. of ghee or oil in a non-stick frying pan.
Now drop 1 tablespoon of batter in hot ghee/oil, using a little force to flatten it (not too much or it will splash), so that you get a flat circles or disc of approximately 3 inch or 8cm. size (a hamburger size). Fry until brown on both sides and edges are crisp.
Lift out, drain oil and drop in the syrup for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from syrup, place on a wire wrack that has been placed on a tray to collect dripping syrup. Arrange on a serving plate and garnish with chopped/shredded pistachios.
Serve warm with rabri, whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.
Experiment by making batter using natural yoghurt or dahi. This gives a slightly different taste to the malpuas above. Keep the batter aside in a warm place for 6-8 hours, to allow it to rise a little