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Malpua: Ghee-fried Pancakes Soaked in Syrup

Deep-fried in ghee, these two-ingredient pancakes are drizzled with cardamom-infused syrup and garnished with rose petals.

From the book

Asma Khan


This is one of the desserts that is often made for Holi – the festival of spring and colour. Malpua is very similar to a pancake – the difference is that it is deep-fried in ghee and soaked in syrup! There are many variations of the dish. In eastern India, ripe bananas are mashed and added to the batter; in Bangladesh some families add coconut. This is a plain version, which is more popular in the region where my father comes from. Traditionally in my family, these are decorated with rose petals, which add a wonderful fragrance. As the pancakes are quick to make, I would suggest making Rabri (Milk Dessert with Pistachio), too, and creating a truly indulgent dessert by pouring it over the pancakes.

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240g plain flour
180g full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
50:50 ghee and vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the syrup:
500ml water
250g caster sugar
2 green cardamom pods
rose petals, to garnish (optional)


Sift the flour into a bowl and whisk in the yoghurt to make a smooth batter with the consistency of a thick pancake batter. If it is too thick, you may need to add a little water, whisking in 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover and set aside for an hour.

While the batter is resting, make the syrup. Put the water in a pan with the sugar and cardamom pods and bring to the boil. Keep the liquid at a slow rolling boil until it reduces and thickens slightly, then turn off the heat.

When ready to fry the pancakes, heat an 8cm depth of ghee and oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Drop 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil: it should spread to a pancake shape. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and add to the pan of warm syrup. Repeat until you have used all the batter.

Leave to cool slightly before serving the pancakes drizzled with a little of the syrup and garnished with rose petals, if using.


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From the book: Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking To Nourish Your Soul

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