malpua (syrupy Indian pancakes) rabdi and holi

Saffronstreakswishes its readers a very Happy Holi.

Malpua or the sweet , fennel scented fluffy Indian pancakes drenched in sugary syrup and when served along with rabri becomes heavenly delicious, a deadly combo which can never go wrong and make the festival of color and joy all the more delicious and sweet.

malpua with rabdi

Malpua enjoys a very strong integral relationship with Holi and there is a small story behind it.

In early 16th century Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a Hindu saint and social reformer in eastern India, and one of the proponenet of Bhakti movement once visited Vrindavan where he observed this festival of Holi. Later after returning to Bengal, he wants to introduce the festival but in a different version. He named it “dolyatra” and told his disciple to go to Lord Krishna’s temple and apply red color to Krishna and play with color among themselves. And those who gave red color to others will also feed them with malpua / malpoa, the delectable sweet. The concept behind this festival is that the very thought of Krishna filled the people’s mind with joy, and these vibrations also produce a corresponding vibrations in Krishna’s mind. Thus spreading the ripples of love and joy and that signifies the festival of color -Holi.”

Adapted from the verses of Shri Shri Anandamurti, published in the Speakingtree.

There are lots of versions of making Malpua , but I follows the one which is being traditionally being made at our home during Holi (or dol purnima as we call it in Bengali).



malpua (syrupy Indian pancakes) rabdi and holi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fluffy syrupy deep fried Indian pancakes served with apple rabri, a delicious dessert for festive ocassions like Holi.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 12 malpuas
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Pistachio nuts for garnishing
For Malpua / Pancakes batter
  • All purpose flour (maida): 2 cup
  • Rice flour: 4 tbsp
  • Milk : 4 cup
  • Sugar : 2-3 tsp
  • A pinch of salt
  • Baking powder: a pinch of
  • Roasted fennel: 1 tbsp
For Sugar syrup
  • Sugar: 2 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Rose essence / saffron
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
For Apple Rabri
  • Milk: 500 ml
  • Apple grated (peeled and cored): 1 cup
  • Cornflour: 1 tsp
  • Soaked almonds and pistachios for garnishing: ½ cup
How to make syrup
  1. Warm a deep bottom vessel and prepare the syrup by mixing water and sugar with a dash of rose essence or throw few strands of saffron on it.
  2. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and keep on boiling on medium heat first and then lower the heat till you get a desired consistency of two thread or it should coat the back of a spoon.
How to prepare the malpua batter
  1. In a wide mixing bowl, sift the all purpose flour and rice flour with salt and baking powder.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in milk and add the milk at room temperature to the flour mix.
  3. Keep on blending till no lumps are visible and the batter should have a pouring consistency, neither too thick nor too thin.
  4. This step is little tricky, so after preparing the batter, pour a spoonful in hot oil to test it, if requires make it more thin by adding little milk.
  5. Sprinkle the roasted fennel seeds all over it and mix lightly. Keep the batter to sit for 1 hour.
Deep frying the pancakes / malpua
  1. Now heat the required oil for deep frying the malpuas. Oil should be smoking hot and check the temperature by drop few drops of batter in it. It should not stick to the bottom and should gradually come to the surface of oil.
  2. Once you are convinced about the oil, with the help of a flat spoon, add the batter, half or a spoonful of batter should be right.
  3. It should form a circular pancakes.
  4. Flip the side once it is evenly browned and remember to flip only once.
  5. Drain the excess oil on a tissue paper and dunked in warm syrup for 30 seconds. Remove it and place it on a serving plate.
  6. Continue with the batter and this measurement will yield around 10 -12 malpuas.
  7. Garnish the malpuas with pistachio nuts and serve warm or cold.
  8. You can dunked the malpuas in syrup or can have it dry or to make it more delectable by serving it with rabri.
How to make apple rabri
  1. Boil the milk till it reduced to its ¼th measure.
  2. Dissolve the cornflour in one teaspoon of warm milk and mix it with the reduced milk.
  3. It will thicken the milk and you will get the desired texture.
  4. Add the grated apple in the thickened milk and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Take off from the heat and garnish with dry fruits.
  6. Serve alone or with the warm malpuas or jalebis.
You can also add mashed banana in the malpua batter, to make it more delectable.
You can also make plain rabdi simply garnished with almonds and pistachios or you can try apple rabdi or mango rabdi, infused with any fruits of your choice.
There is one hour sitting time or inactive time included in the process.

Rabdi :

apple rabdi

Rabri is the thickened and creamy milk and can be flavoured with dry fruits or even fruits.

This is the recipe of apple rabdi I have adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s book.

Malpuas were  fluffy, crispy at the edges and soft in the middle, exactly the way we wanted it. Rabri was excellent (judged by Ma) and the two makes it heavenly delicious !

Enjoy the Holi, spare the water balloons, go for eco-friendly colors, stay away from harmful chemicals. In short enjoy it in healthy way and make the event enjoyable and memorable to others also.

Happy Holi