Friday, October 28, 2016

Malpua Rabdi Panna Cotta

Diwali lamp, simi jois

Malpua Rabdi Panna Cotta

Diwali brings back so many memories. The aroma of sweets, the earthenware lamps...the smell of fire 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. 


For the pancake 
1 cup all purpose flour/Maida 
1/2 cup Milk powder
1 tbsp fine rava
1/4 tsp baking soda 
ghee or oil for shallow frying 
1/4 cup or LESS of milk for mixing. 

For sugar syrup 
1 cup Water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
4-5 stings saffron

For rabri panna cotta 
1 cup milk 
1 cup cream 
1/2 over ripe banana 
1 tsp saffron  
1/4 cup sugar 
1 packet gelatin powder 

For the puri/pancake

Sift flour, rava, milk powder and baking powder together. Make a batter by adding cool milk. It should be like pancake batter, a pouring consistency. Leave aside for 10-15 minutes. 

Heat oil/ghee in a pan; drop 1 scoop of batter in hot ghee/oil so that you get a flat circles or disc of approximately 3 inch. Fry until brown on both sides with crisp edges.

Drop the pancakes/puri in the sugar syrup. 

For Sugar syrup:

Boil sugar and water together to 1 thread consistency. To test this, dip a wooden spoon in syrup, touch it with a forefinger carefully, it will be very hot! Press fore-finger against your thumb and gently tease them apart. You should get one wire stretching between finger and thumb. Two wire consistency is too thick for this dish. Add cardamom powder to the syrup; keep it warm on low heat.

For rabdi panna cotta 

In a sauce pan (heavy bottomed) add milk, cream, saffron and sugar. After milk begins to boil, add banana and lower the flame - let it boil for an hour. You will have a nice thick milk almost pasty. Make sure flame is low and you keep stirring - burnt milk does not taste good.  

Now you can use this and add gelatin or if you want a very creamy consistency - blend it till you homogenize the rabdi. 

Take one packet of gelatin (little less than 1 tbsp) add it to warm water let it sit for a min till it dissolves, strain it into the rabdi and dish out the rabdi into individual molds.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, unmold the panna cotta.

Serve with malpua on dessert plates, with malpua on the bottom, rabdi panna cotta on top and drizzled with saffron syrup and garnished with pistachio. 


Simi Jois

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  1. LOVEE LOVE LOVE! I loved all photos, especially the last one! <3 Was eagerly waiting for this.

  2. Looks soo yum simi! love the combination of malpua with pannacota! Simply gorgeous pics simi! looks soo festive! Happy diwali to you and ur loved ones! :-)

  3. Hi Simi, such an innovative recipe and your images are gorgeous as always! I wanted to see the final pictures since you posted the video and here I found the whole festive vibe :)

  4. Love this amazing fusion dessert. Sounds exotic and looks soooo decadent. Breathtaking photos.
    Happy Diwali to you and your family Simi.

  5. Im definitely making this. Rabdi panna cotta!

  6. So interesting combo and nice satisfying pancake meal.. All the pics are so tempting.. Happy Diwali to you Simi

  7. Wonderful recipe Simi! Shubho Dipaboli to you and your family.

  8. Wishing you a very happy Diwali Simi. Any substitutes for gelatin to make it vegetarian? Thank you.

    1. Agar-agar and vegan gel are great substitutes for vegetarians.

  9. I totally love this fusion dessert... first of all it looks so beautiful and I am sure this tasted amazing as well! Lovely pictures as always... :)


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