We Bengalis are very particular about our Misti (which means Sweet) and the various kinds of it. Not only Bengalis but we Indians love to eat sweets, we make them at our homes and we also gift homemade sweets to our relatives, friends and well-wishers on special occasions. Sweets are associated with good will, they signify happiness and prosperity. Whenever something good happens in our life or we achieve success, a common term that is used is “Muh Mitha” which means to eat something sweet to celebrate the achievement. A success or achievement is shared with others by treating them with sweets. Malpuwa is one such sweet which can be easily made at home and can be served at any special occasions at home or other places. We make them when guests come to visit us when there is some Puja and we offer it to God, kids love to eat them as they are sweet.
In Northern parts of India Malpuwa is basically made with Khoya, flour, milk and often served with Rabri .but the Bengali way of making Malpuwa stands apart with the use of fennel seeds and we love our Malpuwa fluffy yet crisp. Along with flour we also use a little portion of semolina and sugar syrup to dip the Malpuwas. Every region has it own distinct flavour, taste and variations in getting the perfect Malpuwa. But whatever it is the sentiment attached with the sweet remains same.
I grew up watching my mom making some of the most delicious and mouthwatering Malpuwas at home. Not one or two, me and my sister used to eat like ten or twelve. Some of them were kept aside to be kept for the tiffin for the next day at school. In Assam which lies in the Northeastern part of India and in Bengal, we make Pithas (Sweets made of Flour, coconut and sometimes Jaggery) of which Malpuwa is an integral part. In the month of January, generally, when Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in Assam, my mom used to make Malpuwa and various other Pithas.
Today is also a very special ocassion for all of us in India as we are celebrating “Rakshabandhan or Rakhi”, a festival to celebrate the strong relationship between siblings. It is celebrated on the pious day of Rakhi Purnima (Full moon). Generally, a sister ties a rakhi (decorative wristband) to her brother and the brother promises to protect his sister from all adversities.
Since I never had my own brother I used to tie a Rakhi on the wrist of my sister and she used to do the same. My sister is a thousand brothers combined. She is protective, she is 24×7 available for me. No matter how far she is sawy, I know she is a phone call away from me. Today as I sit at home and my sister so far away from me on the tip of our country at Pondicherry, I decided to make some Malpuwa to celebrate the occassion, offer some to God and relieve my childhood memories.
How to make Malpuwa
Ingredients for the Malpuwa –
One Cup Flour ( Sieve the Flour so that there are no lumps or impurities)
Three table spoon Semolina or Suji
Half cup jaggery (Using jaggery instead of sugar enhances the taste)
One tea spoon fennel seeds
Half cup coconut mixture ( Grated coconut fried with jaggery which will add to the taste of the Malpuwa)
1-2 cups of water to make the batter.
2- 3 cups of oil for deep frying the Malpuwa
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
Procedure to make the Malpuwa –
Take a pan filled with half a cup of water and put the jaggery and let it melt into jaggery syrup. Use to fingers and check whether the jaggery is ready or not. Dip the fingers if both the fingers stick than your jaggery is ready for use. To check in a more easier way, put a drop of the syrup on a bowl of water if it falls like melted wax than your syrup is ready. If it scatters away the syrup is not ready.
Take a huge mixing bowl, put all the ingredients as mentioned above, and also pour the jaggery syrup. Stir the batter thoroughly so that there are no lumps and air bubbles. Don’t make the consistency too runny, as you are going to fry it and it should not scatter away when poured in hot oil.
Now take a pan or a Kadai (wok) Pour the oil and let it heat. Take a small portion of the batter and pour it to check whether the oil is properly heated or not. Now when your oil is heated take small portions of the batter, preferably with a round deep ladle and pour in the oil to make fluffy small Malpuwas.
Fry on medium heat and let one side become brown than flip it and let the other side turn brown too. When both sides turn brown remove it with a ladle with multiple holes which will let the access oil to fall off.
Take a plate and put a blotting paper, put the Malpuwas there to soak all extra oil. So your Malpuwas are ready to eat. Serve with Rabri and for extra sweetness, you can dip it in sugar syrup but I am not doing that as I have used Jaggery and I like the taste of Jaggery in my Malpuwas.
Enjoy and have fun this Sunday and Wish Everyone a very Happy Rakshabandhan