Friday, August 9, 2013

Teej Greetings- with Malpua/ Indian Pancake

Today, I learnt this morning, is Shravani Teej.....the festival of swings and mehendi.

For many many years in my growing up years, the first rains of monsoon would begin an impatient wait for Teej. More often than not, I knew it was around the corner when some strange messenger rang our doorbell with a box-ful of goodies for my mom - saree, red and green bangles, bindi-kajal-sindoor, toe rings, mehendi and mouth watering sweets made especially for my mom by her mom.....The D-day I'd see my mom deck up in all her finery, and dream of looking as beautiful as she did then; someday.

My 2 pairs of little hands with Mehendi...
Times changed. In later years, my maama (uncles) would send her a monetary token instead...and then that stopped as well.  As I grew older, ma and I started our own thing. The day before Teej, we'd go buy all the things that naani used to send us.  Ma put mehendi on me, always stitched me a new dress,  and let me put the flowers (gajra) in my well brushed long braid- just like her.  Some years, I remember, she could even cajole my dad to rig up a swing from our doorway for me to swing on.

And then came the food- Ghevar- we bought. Kheer-poori- she made. One thing my mom could never make as well as naani's, was my favorite of all- rabri malpua.  And the store bought one was never as good as I remembered either....

Last year, my MIL happened to be with us on the day of Shravani Teej. Hopefully, I asked her, if she would make Malpua.  She didn't know how to either. But she knew the ingredients to use.  So I went ahead and experimented a bit. Came up with this version.  Nowhere close to my naani's, but still a fairly good malpua. The girls have renamed it- "Indian pancake"! With the Mehendi on their palms and this, Teej finally arrived in USA!!


For malpua
All purpose flour 1 cup
Badam milk powder 1/4cup
Baking powder a small pinch
Milk as needed
Ghee to shallow fry

For syrup
Water 1 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Cardamom pods 3-4 crushed
Saffron strands a pinch

How I did it:

  1. Sift the flour, badam milk powder and baking powder together. Use milk to make a batter of pouring consistency, like pancake batter. Keep aside.
  2. In a wide-mouthed sauce pan, boil the sugar and water together with crushed cardamom pods to make a thin strand sugar syrup. Turn off heat.
  3. Crush the saffron in 1Tbsp cold milk; add it  to sugar syrup, and let it rest till needed. 
  4. Use a non-stick fry-pan or a tawa to make malpua, just like you'd make pancakes.  Pour a little batter on to the hot pan in a generous drizzle of ghee; flip when cooked and remove.
  5. After all the pancakes are done, soak them in sugar syrup before serving.
  6. Can be eaten as such when hot; or with a big spoonful of rabri; when cold.
My two cents: This version is simple, and fairly easy to make. I did trip up on the syrup a bit though at first.  Anya really liked it the first time, and does end up asking for "Indian pancakes" sometimes.  What I have not attempted ever, but remember my naani doing, is making a three-layered malpua- with a thick rabri layer in between two flaky layers of pua.  She used to say, that rabri is what made it malpua....else, it was just a pua...:-) She also deep fried those in attempts at that have failed miserably.  Sadly, my girls will never know what a treat real "Indian pancake" can be....

Nonetheless, Teej Greetings to all.....

Linked to:

Foodabulous Fest event started by Preeti.
Spotlight Rakshabandhan event.
Walk through the memory lane event started by Gayathri.