Chhanar Malpua/ Chhena Malpua
Malpuas are sweet pancakes mostly prepared during festivals like Id, Holi and Diwali. While malpuas can also be made from just wheat flour and milk or even water, mawa and chhena malpuas are rich and hence delicious.
Preparation of chhena/chhana for malpua
The chhena used for making these malpua can also be bought from the store but I prefer using homemade chhena over the store-bought ones. While straining the chhena, you need not worry if whey remains. Since milk is added to prepare the batter, it does not make a difference. However, make it a point to remove all the lemon juice or vinegar else when you add the milk, the milk will curdle.
Preparation of batter
The amount of milk necessary to prepare the batter might vary according to the water in your chhena. Also it depends on the type of malpua you prefer. If you prefer thinner malpuas, the batter should be more runny. But if the batter becomes too dilute, it might spread on putting in hot oil. In that case, add more all-purpose flour to the batter. If you prefer your malpuas thicker, the batter should be slightly thick. However, in all cases, the batter should be of pourable consistency.
Mostly baking powder is not used in malpua batter. However, if you want to make fluffy malpuas you should whisk the batter for 5 minutes to incorporate air in the batter. But if you do not like them fluffy, just mix the ingredients and the batter will be perfect.
Tips for making Chhena/ Chhanar Malpua
If you want fluffy malpuas, you can just put the chhena in the blender. The chhena is mashed and in the process, air is incorporated. Otherwise, you can use your hands to mash the chhena. The chhena should be mashed till it becomes smooth and creamy.
- 125 g of homemade chhena ( from 650mL of milk)
- ¼ cup of all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons of semolina
- 1½ tablespoons of cornflour
- ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 8 strands of saffron
- ½+¼ cup of milk
- 5 cardamom pods
- Take the milk in a pot and bring it to a boil. Curdle the milk with 2 tablespoons of vinegar/lemon juice. Strain the chhena in a muslin cloth, hang the chhena to remove all the excess whey. (See Notes)
- Take the chhenaa in a blender and blend it smooth such that there are no lumps in the chhenna (See Notes)
- Transfer the blended chhena in a bowl, add all-purpose flour, semolina, cornflour and ½ cup of milk. Whisk the ingredients together to incorporate air and prepare a uniform batter.
- In a microwavable bowl, take ¼ cup of milk and saffron strands. Microwave the milk for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This releases the aroma and color of the milk. Add this milk to the batter and mix well.
- Add the fennel seeds to the mixture and give it a hearty mix.
- Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes (See Notes)
- In a pot, take the sugar. To the sugar add ½ a cup of water, add the lemon juice and cardamom pods and bring it to boil. Prepare a syrup of one string consistency
- In a pan, heat oil. Now with a ladle pour the batter in the oil. Fry the malpua till they turn golden brown to brown in color.
- Gently flip the malpuas to fry the other side of the malpuas.
- Remove the malpuas from hot oil with a slotted spoon and gently drop them in the sugar syrup.
- Toss the malpuas in sugar syrup and leave them in the syrup for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove them from the syrup. Garnish with dried rose petals if using and serve.
- Do not worry about removing the whey completely. Since liquid(milk) will be added later on to prepare the batter, a bit of whey is ok.
- Wash the chhena properly if traces of lemon/vinegar remains in the chhena, on adding milk later, the milk will curdle.
- You can also use your hands to make the chhena smooth. Putting it in the blender will also incorporate air in the malpua and will make them fluffy. I love fluffy malpuas and therefore this is how I have prepared them. But if you do not like them fluffy use your hands to make them smooth.
- Letting the batter rest helps the semolina to absorb the milk.
- The batter should be a pourable consistency. If you see the batter spreading, while put in oil, add a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the batter.
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