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Paneer / Chenna malpua with rabdi / Indian syrupy cheese pancakes with thickened cream

Chanar Malpua / Paneer Malpua / Syrupy Cheese Pancakes – non – deep fried version for Diwali

The soft buttery cheese pancakes, deep fried, that melts in mouth without any effort, crisp at the edges, but pillowy (cotton) soft in the center. Every bite of this luscious morsel is filled with richness of pristine milk, the softness of homemade cheese, the scent of fennel, the fragrance of dried rose buds, the delicate and subtle flavour of saffron that lends a royal and ancient touch to the malpuas.

Every bite of this divine malpuas are drenched in cardamom scented syrup that dripped in eternal fashion, drop by drop, and when the first flush of sunshine streams through those syrupy golden threads, life attains nirvana at the very moment.

Paneer malpua / cheese pancake recipe

 

Like sliver of golden sunshine peeking through slate gray sky.

The joy, the delight that it radiates can brighten up the melancholy of life.

The story of these divine malpuas does not ends here, it needs its soul-mate, the rabdi. The thickened milk where it loses all its momentum, dressed up like a newly wed bride, adorned with jewels of almonds and pistachios, soaked in fragrance of rose and screw pines. Some marriages are made in heaven, like Malpua and Rabri, the eternal bond they share with each other. Very much like the epic and eternal love of Radha-Krishna, who epitomizes the most beautiful word in the world, the love.

how to make rabdi at home

May be its Lord Krishna favourite sweet, but through out India, there is a tradition of making malpuas at Janmashtami.

Malpuas in my home are mostly made during two ocassion, once in Holi (that again symbolizes the eternal relationship of Radha-Krishna) and then again four month’s later in Monsoon, during Janmashtami. The traditional way of making these delectable syrupy pancakes uses wheat flour, milk and some fennel seeds. But again India is so much diversified, the culture, the cuisine and so as the malpuas.

Each region brings their special and unique touch to the malpuas, like Rajasthani mawa malpua, Bihari puas (which are pan-fried, not traditional deep-fried ones), Bengali kheer malpuas and then we have the fruity versions too, like banana malpua, apple malpua, pineapple malpua and mango malpuas.

Paneer / chhena / chanar malpua recipe

Fruity versions always have an edge over the flour ones and recently when I tried the chenna or cheese malpua, I must admit that I had fallen in love with these soft and velvety malpuas once again. This is the one sweet dish that I make often and I was looking for making it bit healthier. As traditionally malpuas are deep fried ones, and when I discovered that it can be pan fried like Bihari puas, I decided to give it a shot. Malpuas never tasted so delicious before without the guilt factor.

I make a two version of it, one recipe is exclusively for my 1.5 yr old baby who is one curious monkey, an enthusiastic learner and learning new things every day, every moment and that includes her tasting sessions with the food. Since I don’t want to feed her bleached flour like maida, so her malpuas typically contains only fresh homemade paneer, sometimes mashed banana, full fat cream milk, nut powder, jaggery instead of refined sugar.  This is more akin to Bihari style pua.

malpua rabdi recipe paneer

Depending upon the mood, the weather, the life’s moments my malpuas can be extravagantly rich and deep fried or can be like regular pancakes velvety soft to touch and divine to taste.

Deep fried version contains no milk while pan fried version contains milk, like regular pancake batter sans baking powder, flour and eggs.

Deep fried version – for this knead the paneer (how to make fresh homemade paneer here), with little cornflour (around 1 tbsp) and spice powders and make a smooth dough. Between two wet cotton / cheese cloth spread small amount of paneer dough and try to give a circular shape. Then deep fried in ghee mix oil or pure ghee.

For pan fried version, here is the recipe in detail:

Paneer / Chenna malpua with rabdi / Indian syrupy cheese pancakes with thickened cream
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cotton y soft cheese pancakes dipped in sugar syrup and then served with thickened milk. We call it paneer malpua and rabdi in India
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
For Malpua
  • Paneer / cottage cheese / ricotta : 1 cup
  • Full fat milk : 1 cup
  • Flour : 2-3 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder : a pinch
  • Fennel seeds : 1 tsp (lightly toasted)
  • Khova / mawa : 2-3 tbsp (optional)
  • Ghee : as required
For syrup
  • Sugar : 1 cup
  • Water : 1 cup
  • Green cardamom : 2-3
  • Saffron strands : 2-3
For Rabdi
  • Full fat cream milk : 1 l
  • Almond, pistachios (soaked) : ½ cup
  • Saffron strands : few
  • Sugar : 3-4 tbsp or as required
  • Green cardamom (crushed) : 2-3
  • Rose water / kewra (screw pine) essence : 1 tsp
Instructions
For Rabdi
  1. Bring the milk to a rapid boil. Use a heavy bottom pan for this.
  2. Simmer the milk on low heat and as soon as the cream begins to froth on top of the milk, remove it to the side of the pan and give it a gentle stir. This way starts collecting the cream on the sides and soon you will have layers of creams on the sides of the pan.
  3. { Many like me does not like the laccha rabdi or rabdi with thickened layers of cream. So if you are like me, then dissolve the cream back in the milk by stirring the milk vigorously}.
  4. Else, follow the above steps and reduce the milk till it reaches one fourth of its original quantity.
  5. Rabdi making is long and tedious process and there are no shortcuts to it.
  6. To reduce one liter of full fat cream milk, it will roughly take around 1.5 hour.
  7. One liter of milk will yield only a small bowl of rabdi as shown in the picture.
  8. Once done, add the sugar, crushed cardamoms, rose water / kewra water, saffron and give a nice stir.
  9. Garnish the rabdi with chopped or slivers of almonds and pistachios.
For sugar syrup
  1. Bring sugar and water to boil. Add the cardamoms.
  2. Keep boiling till the syrup forms a fine film over the back of the spoon. We don't need thick syrup for malpuas.
  3. Add saffron and keep the syrup warm.
For Malpua
  1. Whisk together paneer, milk, flour, cardamom powder, fennel seeds, khova (if using) and make a smooth (lump free) batter. Batter will look like regular pancake batter.
  2. Let it sit for 20 minutes
  3. Heat a non stick or any well greased pan.
  4. Stir thoroughly and a ladle full of batter slowly on the middle of the pan.
  5. Once the sizzling sound comes, put it on low flame and fry it till golden brown.
  6. Add a teaspoon of melted ghee on the sides while frying the malpuas.
  7. Flip it over and brown the other side too.
  8. Once done, immediately drop them in sugar syrup.
  9. Keep the sugar syrup on a flat plate. Else malpuas might disintegrate .
  10. Repeat the above steps with rest of the batter.
  11. Once the malpuas has soaked enough syrup and has become soft, immediately drained them out on another plate.
  12. Keeping the malpua in syrup for longer time, will make them soggy.
  13. It will make around 10 malpuas of average size
  14. Serve the malpuas with chilled rabdi.
  15. Timing is subjective here as you can cook the rabdi a day before. And provided you do that timing is given here only for malpua and syrup, from preparation to serving.
Notes
Make ahead - Prepare the rabdi a day before and serve chilled with hot malpuas.

Happy Festivities,

Sukanya

1 Comment

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    Diwali feast platter – 25 must have top sweets and snacks
    October 17, 2017 at 8:02 am

    […] Paneer malpua / Indian syrupy cheese pancakes with rabdi #nodeepfried […]

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