Easy Malpua Recipe – An easier, lighter and slightly healthier version of the original malpua, but no less crispy, gooey and indulgent dessert for Holi!
Festivals invariably have a food ritual attached to them. The cuisine is as important to the celebration as the customs. Well, unless you have a home like mine, where the centre of attention is always food.
So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am already cooking up a storm for Holi. The first on the menu are crisp-edged, soft-centred and insanely delicious malpuas.
For those not in the know, think of a malpua as a fried pancake that is dunked in a sweet syrup. Traditionally, it is sugar syrup. I use jaggery but that’s for later, first is how to make the malpuas.
How to Make Malpua Quickly?
The old-fashioned and established malpua recipe takes time because it requires the batter to rest for a few hours. But when you have a house full of perpetually hungry people, you learn to tweak recipes for quicker results. The easy malpua recipe I use does just that.
To make instant malpuas, I substituted khoya with milk powder and mixed it with whole wheat flour and thick yogurt. I know maida (all-purpose flour) is the customary malpua ingredient, but wheat flour is just so much healthier.
For the unique malpua taste, I sprinkled some freshly ground fennel powder and cardamom powder. Finally, I added water to make a soft, lump-free batter. After this step, you have two options. You can either leave the batter for four to five hours for it to thicken. Or if you’re short on time, just mix fruit salt or baking soda in the batter and use it instantly.
Shallow frying the malpuas
Traditionally malpuas are deep-fried in ghee. But since I am petrified of deep-frying, I shallow fry them. In ghee. Always in ghee. The flavor it imparts is just incomparable.
Ladle the smooth batter into the ghee and fry till they are a deep, golden brown. The trick is to use medium heat. If the ghee is too hot, the malpua will be crispy on the outside but raw from inside. Low heat makes sure you get that lovely soft, gooey texture in the middle and the crunchy bits on the edges.
Making the jaggery syrup for malpua
Making malpua takes no effort, especially if you use the instant version of the recipe. All you do is mix the batter and then fry. The toughest part is making the jaggery syrup, and honestly, that is laughably simple too.
In a pan, you heat water and jaggery for a few minutes and, et voila, you have a wonderful sticky syrup. Dip the fried malpua in the jaggery syrup and you are ready to indulge in some serious deliciousness.
You can adjust the consistency of the batter as per your preference. If you love thin and crispy malpuas, add in some more water to the batter to thin it. If you love fluffy and fat malpua (like me), keep the batter a little thick.
When you ladle the batter on the homemade ghee, don’t spread it out , the batter spreads nicely on its own.
The conventional malpua recipe makes use of sugar to give it a sweet touch, but making a sugar syrup with that perfect one-string consistency makes me a bit nervous. Plus, I prefer to keep away from refined sugar whenever possible. So, I stuck to wholesome jaggery.
The jaggery syrup does tend to harden as it cools. Simply keep it over a pan of hot water and it will not lose the runniness.
How to Serve Malpua?
Once the malpua have soaked in the jaggery syrup nicely, garnish them with a few slivers of almonds and pistachio. For those who love the taste of kesar, a few strings of it bring a whole new explosion of flavour to the dessert.
You can even go the customary way and serve the malpuas with rabri, but they are lovely as is. In my home, we just pour some more jaggery syrup right before we sit down to enjoy them!
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