Thursday, August 30, 2007

Malpua with Rose-flavoured Rabdi (Indian Pancakes)

Everyone is familiar with pancakes and syrup, and its a dish savoured by a large number of people in and out of USA. But have you heard about the Indian pancakes?? Yes, we have a traditional dessert called "Malpua" (like a pancake) which is served with "Rabdi" (which acts like syrup). This is a popular indian sweet in many parts of India (especially during Karva Chauth festival) and you can still see road-side vendors prepare fresh hot malpuas (while you watch and salivate:)) and serve it with the milk-based syrup topping. I enjoyed eating it a lot! A perfect balance of sweet and cream, it is an ideal dessert for any festival, Indian or not!!

Ingredients

For the Malpuas and Sugar Syrup
1 cup maida or all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 gallon (about 1 litre) milk
1 1/2 cups water
A few strands of saffron
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup sugar
Ghee(clarified butter)or oil for frying

For the Rabdi (recipe described below)
3 cups whole milk
2 large tbsp un-sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp rose essence
1 tbsp pistachio nuts- chopped for garnish
1 cup Rabri

Method

Make the Sugar Syrup
Now Boil the sugar and water together to make the sugar syrup. Keep stirring continuously in one direction only to form a thread-like consistency. To test that it's done, when it gets a little viscous, take a drop of syrup between your thumb and index finger and move them vertically apart to see if a thread forms. If it breaks, the syrup needs to be thickened, and if you are able to make 2 threads, you need to add a little more water to the syrup. When done, add saffron and cardamom powder to the syrup and keep it warm on very low heat.

Make the Malpuas
Mix the flour and baking powder. Now boil the milk in a thick-bottomed vessel till it reduces to half. Slowly add the thickened milk to the flour to make into a smooth thin batter, same as the pancake batter. Set aside for 5-10 mins.

Now heat a frying pan, add 1 tsp oil or ghee, take a ladle-full of the batter and make small pancakes out of it. Cook on both sides till golden brown.

Immerse them in the sugar syrup for about 2-3 mins, then place on a dish to get rid of excess syrup. You can just dip it in the syrup and remove instantly if you don't like it too sweet. Just let it coat a little.

Rabdi
Pour the milk in a saucepan and leave it on medium heat till it reduces to one fourth its original content. Add the condensed milk and keep stirring fequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Add sugar according to your taste. Then add the rose essence and remove from flame. let it cool completely. Garnish with chopped pistachios and keep it referigerated.

Serve the hot Malpuas with the Rabdi on the side (photo courtesy of indobase.com). You can either pour the rabdi over the malpuas or dip the latter in the rabri. Whatever way you choose to eat them, they will taste delicious, rich and creamy!! I bet this will put you in the seventh heaven!!

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