Diwali brings back so many memories. The aroma of sweets, the earthenware lamps...the smell of fire crackers..new clothes. For me Diwali is about family, togetherness and food that brings us together.
Indian desserts are such a unique presentation of techniques and skills. Caramelizing sugar in chikki (sugar brittle) to frying jalebis and soaking them in syrup, to spongy rasgullas, to shrikhand , to Mysore paak, to ghevar, to kheer, to laddus, to barfis...its unimaginable variety with different techniques. None of this is done using expensive equipment and each of the recipes have a rich history behind it.
Techniques like candy making, caramelizing, cheese making, clay pot cooking, curdling, creaming, sugar panning, deep frying, ricing, reduction, poaching, parboiling, dredging and infusion are not new to Indian cuisine and specially desserts.
I usually try and make traditional dessert for Diwali, this time I wanted to try a fusion of an Indian classic - malpua. Malpua is a cross between a syrupy doughnut and a pancake. It is shallow fried pancake soaked in sugar syrup with saffron and cardamom flavor. The combination of saffron and cardamom is commonly used in Indian desserts. I kept the malpua - traditional recipe and made a panna cotta rabri to pair with the malpua - served with a drizzle of saffron syrup. The result : something I fell in love with. For me, gulab jamun is my favorite dessert of all times...I think this is a close contender.