There was a knock on the door. , Renu with her neatly tied plait of hair was standing with a plate in her hand. ‘Here are some sweets for Holi for you”, she smiled, showing her very white set of teeth. ‘Aww, Thank you, you didn’t have to you know.” We didn’t mean the last part though, in fact we used to wait in anticipation for this time.
As soon as we close the door behind her, we siblings attack the plate. Under the lace cover were the coveted ‘Malpuas”. Every year for holi our neighbour Sinha aunty made Malpuas., without fail. This was a speciality of rural Bihar, the place where we spent our childhood. Gifting sweets to friends and families on festive occasions was a tradition that was followed with great enthusiasm. The weather changing to warmer days and spring flowers already blooming, it was such a beautiful time.
Malpuas are Indian pancakes, comes in a variety of different forms, made of all purpose flour or a healthier version using whole wheat flour, sugar or jaggery, crispy or moist dunked in sugar syrup. The recipe I have here today is both, for the crispy version and soaked in syrup ones..
Fast forward a couple decades, snow showers in forecast with temperatures twenty below celsius. No, that is not going to dampen our spirit. The Malpuas are ready. We are going to throw colours on our friends and usher spring, be it just for fun.
Wish you all a very happy Holi.
Recipe; Made 10 small ones.
Whole wheat flour 1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Orange food colour couple drops
Ghee 1 Tbsp
Pistachio slivers for garnish
For sugar syrup to soak;
Sugar 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Take the sugar in a bowl, pour hot water. wait for the sugar to dissolve and the mixture to cool.
Add the flour little by little, mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps. Add the ghee, cover and let it rest for about three hours.
Add the cardamom powder, fennel seeds, orange colour, add a couple more spoons of water if needed. The consistency should be that of any pancake batter.
Take a non stick pan with canola oil on medium heat. Take a tablespoon of batter and carefully pour on the oil. I had put a couple or even three at a time. Wait for a few minutes and flip them over. A light brown colour is what we are looking for
Drain the oil and collect on kitchen towel. Garnish with pistachio slivers.These are ready to be enjoyed as is.
Alternatively a thin sugar syrup can be made by boiling a cup of water and sugar and the pancakes can be dipped in it for a few minutes.Take your pick.