Malpua or Malpoa (in Bengali) is a popular Indian dessert, akin to a pancake, dipped in syrup. It is made around the country in different ways, especially during special occasions. The batter is usually made from flour, and flavoured with cardamom or fennel, deep-fried and then soaked in syrup. My Didu (maternal grandmother), was the ‘Malpua-maker’ in our family. And to be honest, in my experience, she was the best…
I have never had malpuas as tasty as the ones she used to make; partly because she used wheat flour instead of all-purpose (atta in place of maida), that gave the malpuas a completely different depth of flavour, and crispiness. And then there was the secret ingredient she added….to which, I shall come to later.
This September 16th marked the fourth anniversary of her death. I wanted to offer her a tribute, with food of course, because she, like me, was a biiig foodie. The menu was simple; we had a typical Bengali menu consisting of –
- Aloo Korolar chochhori (bitter-gourd and potato melange)
- Musoor dal (lentil soup)
- Mochar ghonto (banana flower mish-mash)
- Dim er jhal (Egg curry, made by dad)
- Bhapa chicken (Steam-cooked chicken in mustard-coconut paste, made by mom)
- Stuffed bread malpua (my speciaaaaaal 😛 )
So, you see, this was my special tribute to her; an adaptation of the regular Malpua, this Stuffed Bread Malpua is filled with grated coconut, nuts and is rich in flavour and taste. I remember my Mom’s aunt make something like this, many decades back. I suppose I remembered that, somewhere in the back of my mind 😛
The process of making these Malpuas is quite easy, if a little lengthy. They store well too, so you can actually keep them for up to a week, IF they are not stolen by then 😉 For the filling, you can substitute the coconut with mawa/khoya if you wish for a richer tasting malpua.
Like I said, if you want it to be richer, you can use a stuffing of khoya/mawa. You can also fry the whole thing in ghee, and make some rabri to go with it 🙂
Stuffed Bread Malpua
For the Malpua:
- Bread – 6 slices
- Coconut – 1/2 cup approx, grated (plus a little for garnish)
- Milk – 1/4 cup (adjust as needed)
- Cashews – a handful
- Raisins – a handful
- Ghee – for frying
For the syrup:
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Cardamom pods – 2
- Saffron – a few strands
- Prepare the syrup by heating a deep-bottomed vessel with water.
- Add the sugar, saffron and cardamom.
- Let it come to a rolling boil, and simmer until the syrup comes down to a one-string consistency.
- Keep aside.
- Crush the bread into a fine powder-like consistency (you may remove the crusts, I didn’t).
- To the powdered bread, add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until you’re able to knead the bread into a pliable dough.
- Once the bread has been kneaded into a smooth, soft dough, cover with a damp cloth and keep aside.
- Pluck out lemon-sized balls from the dough, and make smooth dough balls of each.
- Press the dough with your palms (you may roll it out too), into a flat circle.
- Place a spoonful of grated coconut, and a couple of raisins and cashews in the middle.
- Bring the edges of the circle together and join the ends, smoothing it out with some milk if needed.
- Repeat process with the remaining bread dough until you have tikki-shaped ‘malpuas’.
- When the bread tikkis are done, heat a pan with ghee (you may add oil too), and let it smoke.
- Bring down the heat, and keep the flame on low.
- Fry the malpuas on low flame, giving each side 2 mins approx, until they turn golden brown.
- Immediately remove, and dunk into the sugar syrup.
- Repeat process until all the malpuas have been dunked into syrup.
- Serve hot or cold, with a sprinkling of some freshly grated coconut on top.