by Urmila Kapoor
Sweet Pura or Malpua in northern India has 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 is served at the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad daily as prasad. ~ Wikipedia
The original recipe that Urmila Kapoor remembers is very similar to the one made in Nepal. Malpua 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. ~ Wikipedia
When I was a young girl, I was very fascinated with dolls but my father thought it to be a bad habit. As I grew up, I was always told to focus on studies. At that point in my childhood I had other interests such as playing with wooden toys, stitching, embroidery etc. However, my father believed that there was nothing more important than studies. I would compose poems in Hindi and my father would narrate Urdu and English poems to me thereby inculcating the interest of poetry in me.
After I got married I realised the value of cooking and tried to grasp the skills of cooking from whoever I could. To my surprise, slowly but surely I developed a strong liking for cooking. I then started to take interest in various cook books, recipes, flavours of food preparations and developed an urge to keep trying my hand at it. I slowly started concocting my own preparations with great enthusiasm and interest and began to realise that cooking had then become one of my favourite things to do. Whether it was my children, grandchildren, family or friends I truly enjoyed preparing dishes for everyone and realised that this gave me immense joy and a great sense of satisfaction.
Urmila or Ammi as she is lovingly called by her family, calls Malpuas Puras and had tasted them for the first time at her Nani, maternal grandmother’s, house. She says that, they were different in taste than the ones we make now because her Nani used to add saunf/fennel seeds and whole black peppercorns in them. The members of our family disliked the taste of saunf and whole black peppercorns, so I discarded them from my recipe. I am presenting the changed new recipe.
After mixing all the ingredients, Ammi lets the batter sit for two to four hours depending on the weather. Before making the Puras she adds baking powder to the batter and on a non-stick pan makes small Puras using ghee sparingly. They can be eaten on their own or to make it more festive one can add Rabri and sliced nuts as a topping.
Sweet Pura or Malpua
Baking powder-2 large pinches
1. Mix suji, maida, sugar, curd and milk by parts and beat them thoroughly so that no lumps remain.
2. Add the remaining milk and keep the mixture for about two hours in summers and 3-4 hours in winters.
3.Then mix two large pinches of baking powder gently.
4. Make small Puras of about 8.5 cm. on a non-stick pan, sprinkling a little ghee at a time.
5. Cook them till they are golden in colour.
The mixture is sufficient for 15-16 Puras.
Serving suggestion ~
The Puras can be served topped with Rabri with a sprinkling of sliced pistachios.
Important ~ Sugar syrup is not necessary for soaking these Puras like Malpuas are generally done.