Malpua aka Amalu is a pancake served as a dessert or a snack originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India and Bangladesh. It is a very popular dish of Odisha and is also served to Lord Jagannath of Puri in his Sakala Dhupa (morning food served to the lord). Apart from other dishes like Pheni, Rabidi, Kheera sara and other cheese or chhena based items malpua is one of the most popular buyouts in the streets of Puri in Odisha. Malpuas are also prepared in Odia homes during Raja sankranti.
There are few versions of making Malpua region wise. Where I grew up, the batter is made with Flour, gheee, and Jaggery. I noticed that Malpuas made with Jaggery comes soft fluffy while chewy when made with sugar. The batter for malpua in some areas is prepared by crushing ripe bananas or (in Bangladesh) coconut, adding flour, and water or milk. The mixture is sometimes delicately seasoned with cardamoms. It is deep fried in oil, and served hot. In Odisha the Malpua fritters are dipped in syrup after they are fried. The Bihari version of this dish has sugar added to the batter prior to frying.
Below is the video for making Instant quick Malpua as this method is my favorite these days and later you can also watch video of traditional Malpua.
Malpua is popular in Bangladesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra and Nepal where it is served during festivals along with other sweets. Amalu (Malpua) is one of the Chapana Bhoga of Lord Jagannath and is included in the Sanja Dhupa (evening prayer). Other variations of Malpua use pineapples or mangoes instead of bananas. Bengali, Maithili and Odia malpua is traditionally made only with thickened milk and a little flour (sometimes rice flour instead of wheat flour).
Malpua in northern India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan, don’t contain fruit. There are several variations, using some or all of the following ingredients: maida (refined flour), semolina, milk, and yogurt. The batter is left to stand for a few hours before being spooned into a kadhai of hot oil to form a bubbling pancake which should be crisp around the edges. The pancakes are then immersed in a thick sugar syrup. Malpua is a popular sweet to make on the Hindu religious occasion of Holi. Malpua along with mutton curry is served in many non-vegetarian Maithil homes during Holi.
Malapua in Nepal also known as Marpa is specially made in the Kathmandu Valley which uses maida, mashed up ripe bananas, fennel seeds, pepper corns, milk and sugar into a batter and prepared in a similar way as in India.
Malpua is a famous dish during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Muslim families across India, as well as Pakistan prepare malpuas for iftar (meal to break the fast). This malpua includes maida, rawa, and khoya/ mawa (milk solids), and is deep fried to take the shape of a pancake. In some recipes, malpuas are dipped in sugar syrup called sira before serving. They are famous in Odia cuisine.
Below is the video of making traditional way where I grew up.
As I said earlier, Malpua is prepared with different methods and ingredients regionally. So below I am going to share few recipes so that you can adopt your favorite one to prepare this delicacy. First, I am going to share my family recipe. To make instant Malpua, I just add baking soda in my traditional batter. If I want to prepare traditional way without baking soda or powder, I keep the batter overnight before making Malpua.
- Jaggery/Regular sugar 1/2 Cup 8 tbs (Dissolved in water)
- Wheat flour 1 Cup 16 tbs
- Melted ghee 1 Tablespoon
- Water 2 Cup 32 tbs (1 1/2 to 2 cups of water required for 1 cup of wheat flour)
- Cardamom powder 1 Pinch
- Baking soda 1 Pinch Optional -if you want to prepare Malpua immediately
- Oil 1 Cup 16 tbs (For deep frying)
- Poppy seeds 1 Tablespoon
- Pistachios 1 Tablespoon slivered
- In a small bowl with jaggery, add a little water and stir to dissolve the jaggery in the water. Set it aside.
- In another small bowl, melt ghee by putting it into the microwave for 30 seconds. Melted ghee is to be used in the cooking process of the recipe.
- Take a mixing bowl with wheat flour in it. Add the melted ghee and mix.
- Using a strainer pour the water (jaggery dissolved in it) into the bowl of wheat flour. Using a spatula start blending the flour and jaggery water.
- Add more water if required and blend using an electronic hand blender (if it is difficult to blend using your spatula).
- Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for about 6 hours.
- Once the batter has rested for 6 hours, add a pinch of cardamom powder and baking soda (if using) and mix well.
- Heat a pan with oil for frying. Once the oil is ready, using a small bowl with an edge to pour the batter into the oil (Watch the video for how to pour the batter).
- When the malpua turn golden brown on one side, flip the side carefully using two spatulas. Once both sides are done, drain into a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- 10. While the malpuas are hot, sprinkle with poppy seeds and the slivered pistachios.
- 11. Serve warm.
TIPS Using regular sugar instead of jaggery would make the malpuva chewy instead of crispy. Use jaggery if you prefer a crispy sweet pancake.
Now, below you can find more options for different recipes.
Odia malapua recipe
Amalu is a generic term used for the Sanja dhupa of Jagannath temple and several types of Amalu (Bada Amalu, Sana Amalu) are offered to the lords as the Sanja Dhupa(evening dhupa).
250 ml of Yogurt
3 tbsp of refined Flour
3-4 tbsp of Ghee/oil for frying
1 tsp of Roasted fennel seeds
For Sugar Syrup (Sira/Raseni)
200 gm of Sugar
Rind of 1 sweet lime
200 ml of Water
Combine yogurt, flour and fennel seeds. Stir until a smooth batter is formed. Heat ghee/oil in a pan and make dumplings by frying a spoonful of the batter at a time over a gentle flame. Remove from the pan and drain. Prepare the syrup with sugar, water and rind. Dip the Malpuas into the syrup. At home it can be garnished with sweet lime segments and cream. It can be decorated with silver leaf. It is served hot/cold.
Bengali malapua recipe
This variety is a recipe of fried malapua. There are also versions in which it is dipped or drenched in sugar solution then served.
2.5 cups plain flour
0.5 cup rice flour
2.0 cups sugar
3.0 cups water
1.0 cup shredded coconut
Mix the ingredients to make a moderately thick batter. Sugar can be added if more sweetness is desired. If making a larger quantity always have five times as much plain flour as rice flour to keep the batter together. Pour a quarter cup of batter and pour into a pan with oil. Several pancakes may be cooked at any given time, but each piece must be submerged under the oil in order to cook properly. Cook for about ten minutes and then let it cool for two minutes for an ideal flavor.