Malpua is a traditional North Indian sweet of sugar syrup coated pancakes made with all-purpose flour, curd (yogurt), spices, khoya (dried milk solids) and topped with nuts. Malpua recipe is often made during festivals, special occasions and are a street food as well. Soft and fluffy on the inside, yet crisp and lacy on the outside, these syrup dipped pancakes are a real treat – especially when you serve them with Rabri!
Table of Contents
What is Malpua
Malpua is a traditional Indian sweet of sweetened pancakes. They are quite different from your regular pancakes though. Fluffy and crispy at the edges these cardamom and fennel scented pancakes are coated with sugar syrup, topped with nuts and sometimes served with thickened sweetened milk – which we call rabri.
There are many malpua variations that you will find across various parts of India. Some recipes have fruits like mashed banana, mango pulp or grated coconut added to the batter.
Making malpua recipe at home can be a very time-consuming endeavor; many recipes call for the batter to be fermented overnight. In my fluffy version of this delightful Indian sweet, I have opted to omit the long fermenting time and replace it with some leavening.
As a result, this yummy recipe can be made in just over an hour. Malpua does have a slight tang to them as the batter is either fermented or made with curd (yogurt).
The method for making malpua generally calls for deep-frying the pancakes in ghee. While I stuck to ghee because of its high smoke point and nutty flavor, I opted to shallow fry the pancakes instead, which requires far less fat.
Once you try making my simple recipe for quick malpua, I’m fairly certain you’ll fall in love with this dessert. Now let’s get to the kitchen!
How to Make Malpua Recipe
1. In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf), and 3 to 4 crushed green cardamom pods (discard the peels) or ⅓ teaspoon cardamom powder. Mix the dry ingredients well.
2. Add 3 tablespoons grated khoya (mawa or dried milk solids) and 3 tablespoons curd/yogurt. Please use fresh yogurt. You can use whole milk powder or dairy whitener instead of khoya.
3. Add ½ cup water.
4. Begin to stir with a wired whisk.
5. Stir to a thick to medium-thick, flowing batter without any lumps. Cover and allow the batter to rest for 30 to 40 minutes or up to about 2 hours at room temperature.
6. The below photo shows the consistency of the malpua batter.
7. While the batter is resting, blanch the almonds and pistachios in hot water. Keep them soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then peel them.
8. Slice them and keep them aside.
Prepare Sugar Syrup
9. Just before you begin to fry the malpua, prepare the sugar syrup. Heat ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water. Here I have used raw sugar, hence this golden color.
10. Simmer this mixture on low heat, stirring well so the sugar melts.
11. You need to have a ½ string or 1 string consistency in the sugar syrup. If you cannot achieve these string consistencies then just make a sticky syrup.
The sugar syrup must be kept warm. Keep the sugar syrup pan on top of a bowl or another pan filled with hot water to prevent the sugar from crystalizing. The hot water should touch the base of the pan containing the sugar syrup.
12. Heat 4 tablespoons ghee in a pan or griddle. Here I am shallow frying the malpua instead of deep-frying them. You can deep fry them if you prefer, though you’ll need much more ghee.
For a lighter version, you can use any neutral flavored oil for frying. You can also use less oil and cook them like pancakes.
13. Add 3 pinches (⅛ teaspoon) baking soda to the malpua batter before frying. Instead of baking soda, you can add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
14. Mix very well. This is important as you want the baking soda to be mixed evenly.
15. Lower the heat. Either take 2 to 3 tablespoons or a ladle of the batter and gently pour it on the hot ghee. Spread the batter lightly with the back of the spoon. Make 2 to 4 malpua at a time, depending on the size of the pan. Fry on low to medium heat.
16. When the base becomes light golden, gently and carefully flip over using a spatula.
17. Flip once more and fry the other side.
18. Flip again and fry till they have a crisp edge and are golden. Working in batches, continue to fry malpua this way, adding more ghee if required.
19. Drain them on paper towels to remove excess fat.
Dip Malpua In Sugar Syrup
20. After a quick drain on paper towels, immediately place the fried malpua in the warm sugar syrup. Just a reminder the sugar syrup should be hot or warm as mentioned above.
21. Gently coat them with the sugar syrup with the help of a spoon or small tongs.
22. Remove the malpua and place them in a serving tray or plate.
23. Pour some rabri on top. Garnish with the chopped almonds, pistachios and crushed saffron. Serve rabri malpua hot or warm.
How to Serve Malpua
In my opinion, malpua should be served hot or warm. If you serve them at room temperature or chill them, then they become chewy. But if you like chewy texture, you can serve them chilled.
Serving malpua with rabri is optional. You can just serve these pancakes coated with sugar syrup and garnished with blanched almonds and pistachios. However many people are fond of the malpua rabdi combo. If you plan to make rabri, then you can make it up to a day before you prepare the malpua.
In the step by step I have not included the rabri recipe. Here you can check the step by step recipe on How To Make Rabri. I have also listed the recipe details for making rabri in the recipe card below.
FAQs for Malpua
While you can certainly make the batter up to a day ahead, I recommend that you make the malpua fresh when you plan on serving them. Please note that the batter will end up tasting a bit more sour if you choose to allow it to ferment overnight; you may also need to add a tablespoon or two of water if the batter becomes too thick during refrigeration.
Sure! Swap in 1 to 2 tablespoons of condensed milk or more as needed in place of khoya. But remember that condensed milk will make the batter sweet. So you will have to either omit making the sugar syrup or make it with less amounts of sugar.
Sounds like you put them in the refrigerator. While I’m not sure of the science behind it, malpua do become chewy when they have been chilled. For best results, serve them hot from the pan.
Not if you don’t want to! If you still want the malpua to be sweet without the sugar syrup, try adding a mashed banana or a few extra tablespoons of sugar to the batter.
Absolutely. Just note that the texture will not be as light and fluffy as the malpua made with all purpose flour and you will need a bit more water to make the batter.
For malpua batter
- 1 cup all purpose flour – 125 grams
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – kept whole or crushed
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms – crushed or ⅓ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 3 pinches baking soda or ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup water or add as required
- 3 tablespoons khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) – 50 grams khoya or 3 tablespoons of whole milk powder or dairy whitener
- 3 tablespoons Curd (yogurt)
- 4 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) – for frying
For sugar syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1.25 litres whole milk or about 5 cups
- 2.5 to 3 tablespoons sugar or add as required
- 5 to 6 green cardamoms – crushed or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 pinches saffron strands
- 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water (pandanus water)
- 2 tablespoons almonds – blanched and sliced
- 2 tablespoons pistachios – blanched and sliced
Making malpua batter
- In a mixing bowl take the all-purpose flour, fennel seeds and cardamom powder. Mix the dry ingredients well.
- Add the khoya and curd (yogurt). Please use fresh yogurt. Instead of khoya you can also use milk powder.
- Add water and begin to stir to a thick or medium-thick flowing batter without lumps.
- Cover the bowl and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile when the batter is resting blanch the almonds and pistachios in hot water. Keep them soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Then peel and slice them. Keep aside.
Making sugar syrup
- In a pan take sugar and water. Stir so that the sugar dissolves. On a low heat simmer this mixture.
- You need to have a ½ string or 1 string consistency in the sugar syrup. If you cannot achieve these string consistencies than just make a sticky syrup.
- The sugar needs to be kept warm. For this keep the sugar syrup on a hot water bath so that it stays warm throughout and does not crystallize. Meaning you have to keep the sugar syrup pan on a bowl or another pan filled with hot water. The hot water should touch the base of the pan containing the sugar syrup.
- Heat ghee in a frying pan or skillet.
- When the ghee is heating up add baking soda to the batter.
- Stir to combine so that the baking soda is mixed evenly with the batter.
- Lower the heat. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons or a ladle of the batter and gently pour it on the hot ghee. Spread the batter lightly with the back of the spoon. Make 2 to 4 malpua depending on the size of the frying pan.
- Fry on a low to medium heat. When one side is light golden and crisp, gently turnover and fry the second side until crisp and light golden.
- Fry until both sides are golden flipping the malpua as needed for a couple of times.
- Drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Coating malpua with sugar syrup
- Then immediately place them in the warm sugar syrup. Gently coat the malpua with the sugar syrup with a spoon or small tongs.
- Immediately remove them and place them in a serving tray or plate. Prepare all malpua this way and coat them with the sugar syrup.
- Pour some rabri on top. Garnish with the chopped almonds and pistachios. Serve the malpua with rabdi hot. You can also just serve them coated with the sugar syrup and garnished with the blanched nuts.
Making rabri to serve with malpua
- In a broad thick bottomed pan or sauce pan or a kadai take the whole milk and bring it first to boil.
- Lower the heat and continue to simmer the milk stirring at intervals.
- Bring the clotted cream/malai which forms on top of the milk to the sides of the pan. Also keep on scraping the dried milk from the sides and add them back to the milk.
- Do stir often so that the milk does not get burned at the bottom of the pan.
- Keep on simmering, stirring, removing the clotted cream and scraping the cream of the sides.
- Switch off the heat when the milk has reduced to ⅓ or ¼ of its original volume. The milk would also have thickened. It will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour for the milk to thicken on a low heat.
- Add sugar. Stir well so that the sugar dissolves.
- Next add crushed saffron or saffron powder along with kewra water (pandanus water) or rose water. Add the sliced almonds and pistachios.
- Remove the rabri in a bowl and serve it later with the malpua. Refrigerate if not using it immediately. The combo of malpua rabdi taste good and is liked by many people. It is best and recommended to have malpua rabdi hot or warm.
- For a low fat version, you can also cook the malpua like pancakes by just adding a bit of oil or ghee. If using oil then use any neutral flavored oil.
- Sugar can be added to the batter and you can make sweet malpua. This way you don’t need to make sugar syrup or rabdi.
- Whole wheat flour can be substituted. You need to add some more water if using whole wheat flour. Please sieve the whole wheat flour before making the batter.
- If you are not in a hurry, then allow the malpua batter to ferment for 6 to 7 hours. If you ferment the batter then you don’t need to add baking soda.
- Fruits like mashed bananas or applesauce or mango pulp can also be added to the batter.
- The recipe is easily scaleable to make a big batch.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is per serving of malpua with rabri.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Malpua Recipe post from the archives (Feb 2015) has been republished and updated on 23 September 2021.