Malpua is an Indian sweet/dessert. Every region has its own way of preparing malpua. In Bengal we call it Malpoa and is generally made with a mixture of flour, semolina, milk and sugar. Though I faintly remember my grand mom using rice flour to make it. In this batter you can add mashed banana , shredded coconut, khoya. I used the basic batter today because weekdays are no frill days for me. Malpoa perhaps is the first sweet/dessert a Bengali girl learns to make....the most basic and easy recipe in the Bengali 'Pitha' category. When served with rabri it becomes a dessert.
About 20-30 years ago, yet to be married Bengali girls were grilled by their would be in-laws or their representatives....do you know cooking? Can you make malpoa and patishapta? Under a scanner of 5-8 pair of eyes, the poor girl had to answer a bizarre questionnaire just to prove her worth in the marriage market. Its not a past tense as yet but lessened.
Malpoa brings in a lot of memories. Mothers frying them one after another tirelessly which amounted to 50-60 in an evening. The ritual was to distribute among your neighbours, as part of a nice warm gesture. Living in individual houses we had a neighbourhood culture then.....talking to each other from this terrace to that terrace. Whatsapp or Facebook were not required for socialising. Warmth was felt through exchange of words or food.
Now this is one sign of me growing old. Old people generally like to reminiscing and glorifying past. My middle class values or sentiments say there is every reason to. This will bring in never-ending arguments, better we jump onto the recipe. Usually malpoa is served dipped in sugar syrup but I skipped the dipping part and kept it crispy fried as liked by my family.
All Purpose Flour : 1 cup
Semolina : 1 cup
Milk : 500 ml
Sugar : 1 cup
Fennel Seeds : 1tsp[alternatively black pepper seeds]
Oil : 1 cup[for deep frying]
Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to boil and keep boiling till it reduces to 300 ml. The milk should not turn brown. Once done let it cool a bit.
To it add the semolina when it is still warm. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour. Add the flour now little by little stirring with a ladle simultaneously. No lump should be their in the batter. Add sugar and 2-3 drops of oil. Stand for 1 hour to allow the sugar to dissolve. The addition of oil helps the malpoa not to stick to the pan while frying. Add the fennel seeds or black pepper seeds. Your batter is ready. It will neither be too thick nor too thin.