Malpua with Rabri: Sweet Pancakes with Saffron Infused Condensed Milk

This is a time of celebration in India. January 14th or Makar Sankranti is celebrated in many different ways all over the country. For some it is the festival of new harvest while others are celebrating the return of longer days and goes by different names – Poush Parbon in Bengal, Lohri in Punjab, Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu in Assam, Pongal in Tamil Nadu. It is a time of feasting. In Bengal we make ‘Pithey-Puli’,  ‘Patishapta‘, Payesh and more.
Today I was craving for some Malpua, another tradional Bengali sweet that is made on Poush Parbon – the last day of the Bengali month of Poush. If I was home today, I would have been eating almost 4-5 different varieties of these delicacies. But on my own I just managed two, one last week and one today! I kicked it up a notch though, and served my Malpuas with warm saffron infused Rabri.

Malpua with Rabri

Ingredients & How to:

Sugar Syrup:

  • Water – 1 Cups
  • Sugar –  1/2 Cup
  • Saffron – 1-2 strands, if you like the taste 
In a sauce pan, heat the water and sugar till the sugar melts and the syrup reaches a one string consistency. If you like, thrown in a strand or two if you like. Keep aside.
  • Milk – 2 Cups
  • Sugar – 4 tbs (or more, if you prefer it sweeter)
  • Powdered Milk/Khoya – 2 tbsp (I used Nestle Coffee Mate Coffee Creamer following my friend Progna’s suggestion – she blogs here)
In a saucepan, heat milk, sugar, milk powder and few strands of saffron till the milk thickens and reduces to almost half. Keep stirring the milk and scraping the sides as the milk boils down. It should not be too thick or too runny!
  • Semolina – 1/2 Cup (yielded about 6)
  • Flour – 1/4 Cup
  • Sugar – 3 tbs
  • Milk – 1/4 Cup
  • Baking Powder – 1/8 tsp or a fat pinch
  • Fennel Powder/Saunf – 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – A pinch
  • Oil – Enough for frying
In a bowl, soak the semolina in some water for at least 30 minutes. To it add the rest of the ingredients (except oil, of course) and whisk it to make a smooth batter. Do not over mix it. Let it rest for sometime. In a pan add enough for deep frying, or shallow frying as I did. When the oil is hot enough, add about 1/4 Cup of batter to the oil. The batter should not be too runny. The batter will spread a little once added to the oil. Flip once the the top starts to set and bubbles a little. Fry till the other side turns golden brown as well. Soak the excess oil using some paper towel and dunk the Malpuas into slightly warm sugar syrup for a minute or two. Transfer to a plate carefully. It might be a good idea to hold a plate underneath while transferring as the syrup will drip and that can be a sticky mess. If the syrup is too hot, the Malpuas will disintegrate. Eat just like that or add a dollop of warm Rabri and devour! 

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