Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet Surrender--Nut 'n' Fruit Maalpua

"I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts." ~Graham Kerr

Picture this, its 4.15 am here. I wake up just to drink water and end up writing this blog post (which incidentally I had decided would do in the normal waking hours that is). Needless to say I am a blogoholic...but I ain't complaining.

I made this dessert yesterday. It was the result of visiting Jenn's blog sometime back,which had challenged bloggers to create a dish with the following three ingredients- bananas, rice, coconut (or coconut milk). This was for the Royal Foodie Joust, and the ingredients were given by Cynthia (of Tastes Like Home) who also is sponsoring the prize for this Iron Chef competition, her book My Caribbean Cookbook, Tastes Like Home.

How could I keep myself away from this challenge (especially because its my first one) !!

Indian cuisine is known throughout the World as a sweet cuisine because almost half of its dishes are either sweets or desserts. Actually, Indian sweets have made Indian food famous throughout history, and they have been accommodated to European and North American menus.

The 19th century renaissance in Bengal brought about a dramatic change in the lives of Bengalis in Calcutta. It is during this time that Calcuttans witnessed the birth of several sweetmeat shops.

And Calcuttans are notoriously known for their sweet tooth. Yours truly is a live example.

Food has always been a weakness for the Bengalis. Studying their food habits since the yester years you will be appalled to find the time and money they spent on food. They were never hesitant in throwing parties and if, for the sake of it, they had to exhaust all their wealth they never did mind. Not only in marriage ceremonies, any occasion to them was a party time (like almost all Indians) and in these parties lavish expenditure on food reduced many to a pauper.

Bengalis, like their brethrens from all parts of India, have been winners in all the delicacies they have presented to the world. Not just mutton, fish and vegetables but the variety of confections and array of fruit dishes have always overawed the gluttons of the world.

I present to you my version of the famous maalpua (luscious pancakes soaked in syrup).

Nut 'n' Fruit Maalpua

For pancakes-
4 cups rice flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
2 ripe bananas, mashed to pulpy form
10-12 black peppercorns-- ( to add a little heat to the otherwise sweet dish)
3 tbsp golden raisins
5 tbsp chopped blanched almonds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 cup broken jaggery pieces, finely chopped/broken/ground-- (can substitute this with sugar )
2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup or less tepid warm water-- (the heat helps in dissolving the jaggery pieces)
oil for deep frying

For syrup-
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 tsp cardamom powder


In a big bowl, mix well with a wooden spoon, all the ingredients for the pancakes (except water).
Then slowly add the water(as per requirement) to form a thick batter of pouring consistency.

The batter should not be too viscous, it should be slightly thinner than a cake batter, but not too thin.

Prepare the syrup by boiling together the sugar and water. Add the cardamom powder. Once the syrup is soft ball consistency (that is ek-taar or single thread consistency). Remove from heat.

In a deep bottomed pan, heat oil to smoking point. Reduce the heat to medium flame.
Now, using a ladle pour the batter carefully, one at a time into the hot oil.

I suggest use half full ladles to make small pancakes as they are easier to manage and don't take long to cook.

Deep fry. Once cooked/browned take out from the oil and dip straight into the syrup.
Repeat the process, till all the batter is used. Let soak in the syrup for a couple of minutes.

For serving
- lift the pancakes out from the syrup carefully and place them on a plate. Garnish with flaked almonds. Serve while still warm for optimum taste.

The maalpua will be soft and spongy in the middle while crsip on the edges, with syrup oozing out each time you dig in with your spoon.

The bananas make it moist while the coconut and dried fruits add the nutty flavour. Ofcourse the peppercorns innundate the sweetness while the fennel enhances the aroma alongwith the cardamom.

A truly royal bengal treat! :p

A Request- If you guys liked this recipe, I would request you to vote for this dish, on the FoodieBlog Forum, once the voting starts for this month's January '09 Joust here.


  1. This looks great! I am so glad you decided to join us this month!

    Best of luck!

  2. Onek din pore Malpua dekhlam!! Looks wonderful & now I am really craving for some.

  3. Thanks for dropping by. This certainly looks lovely.

  4. looks delicious dear!
    do visit my blog when u find time and join in the savory event going in my blog!
    Wish u a very happy new year!

  5. Thanks Dharm.

    SriLekha..will send more entries,once I make something savoury.:)

  6. Luscious pancakes, indeed! They look heavenly. What is jaggery? A sweetener?

  7. This looks delicious! You have my vote when it begins!

  8. great entry!!!! malpuas amar fav!!!!!

  9. I would love to try this. Good luck :)

  10. Ur Malpua reminds me of Holi.....they look perfect and deliciously coated with sugar syrup..

    Wishing you Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  11. Thanks Lynn have left a comment regarding jaggery on ur blog.

    Prudy, Arun, MaryAnn and Purva...thanks for appreciating the malpua so much..wish could share them with you :)

    Reeni Thanks for your vote (once voting starts). :)

  12. This is a delicious recipe. Looks like our South Indian Adhirasam. I'll surely try this. Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy new year!

  13. ur welcome dear..Adhirasam is new to me Sanghi.

  14. Hi Navita thanks for dropping by and lovely words on my blog...

    Malpua looks delish and somehow similar to our appam/athirasam.... wish to take out from the screen dear.

  15. thanks Adak. i will have to try adhirasam now.

  16. wow! this looks really great navi...and good luck!

    BTW reg your question on disabling, can you be more specific?I dint follow your question...

  17. Thanks sangeeth. :)
    will leave a msg at ur post.

  18. i think if u have disabled right click it must not allow you to copy the content any if you are still facing any issues...change the right click code as malar's will not allow you to copy at all...

  19. Sure will do tht next

  20. That was sweet of you to include me in your blogroll! Thanks! :)
    I love Malpua, only haven't made it yet! I wish I could make some soon...
    Happy New Year!

  21. wow this looks so yummy. wanna grab some. thanks for visiting my blog.

  22. Hey Navita, I agree with the others this one really does remind me of appam/ athirsam, both made with similar ingredients...this malpua looks tempting, wish I could have a bite of that now :-)

  23. I love Malpua and this looks delicious! Thanks for stopping by my blog, you have a nice space here :)

  24. I'm so impressed you created this! I don't think I've ever created anything food-wise. Wonder if there's a way to vote without becoming a member of the forum?

  25. navitawa india jaldi aa.... bhut kuch banwa ke khana hai......

  26. thanks your blog.. ilove!!!


Thank You for taking out the time to put your thoughts into words. It is appreciated. Hope I am able to keep you involved, intrigued and happy with this blog. Your views are welcome.