Posted on: September 23, 2021 Posted by: Joven Comments: 0

Malpua is a traditional North Indian sweet of sugar syrup coated pancakes made with all-purpose flour, curd (yogurt), spices, khoya (dried milk solids) and topped with nuts. Malpua recipe is often made during festivals, special occasions and are a street food as well. Soft and fluffy on the inside, yet crisp and lacy on the outside, these syrup dipped pancakes are a real treat – especially when you serve them with Rabri!

malpua with rabdi served in a oval plate on a dark blue tray

What is Malpua

Malpua is a traditional Indian sweet of sweetened pancakes. They are quite different from your regular pancakes though. Fluffy and crispy at the edges these cardamom and fennel scented pancakes are coated with sugar syrup, topped with nuts and sometimes served with thickened sweetened milk – which we call rabri.

There are many malpua variations that you will find across various parts of India. Some recipes have fruits like mashed banana, mango pulp or grated coconut added to the batter.

Making malpua recipe at home can be a very time-consuming endeavor; many recipes call for the batter to be fermented overnight. In my fluffy version of this delightful Indian sweet, I have opted to omit the long fermenting time and replace it with some leavening.

As a result, this yummy recipe can be made in just over an hour. Malpua does have a slight tang to them as the batter is either fermented or made with curd (yogurt).

The method for making malpua generally calls for deep-frying the pancakes in ghee. While I stuck to ghee because of its high smoke point and nutty flavor, I opted to shallow fry the pancakes instead, which requires far less fat.

Once you try making my simple recipe for quick malpua, I’m fairly certain you’ll fall in love with this dessert. Now let’s get to the kitchen!

overhead shot of malpua with rabdi served in a oval plate on a dark blue tray

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Malpua Recipe

Make Batter

1. In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf), and 3 to 4 crushed green cardamom pods (discard the peels) or ⅓ teaspoon cardamom powder. Mix the dry ingredients well.

dry ingredients for malpua batter in a bowl

2. Add 3 tablespoons grated khoya (mawa or dried milk solids) and 3 tablespoons curd/yogurt. Please use fresh yogurt. You can use whole milk powder or dairy whitener instead of khoya.

khoya and yogurt added to dry ingredients

3. Add ½ cup water.

add water for malpua recipe

4. Begin to stir with a wired whisk.

whisking batter - it is initially clumpy

5. Stir to a thick to medium-thick, flowing batter without any lumps. Cover and allow the batter to rest for 30 to 40 minutes or up to about 2 hours at room temperature.

smooth batter in a bowl

6.  The below photo shows the consistency of the malpua batter.

dripping malpua batter off a whisk to show the consistency

Prepare Nuts

7. While the batter is resting, blanch the almonds and pistachios in hot water. Keep them soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then peel them.

almonds and pistachios after blanching and peeling

8. Slice them and keep them aside.

sliced peeled nuts to garnish malpua

Prepare Sugar Syrup

9. Just before you begin to fry the malpua, prepare the sugar syrup. Heat ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water. Here I have used raw sugar, hence this golden color.

sugar mixture for malpua recipe

10. Simmer this mixture on low heat, stirring well so the sugar melts.

simmering sugar mixture

11. You need to have a ½ string or 1 string consistency in the sugar syrup. If you cannot achieve these string consistencies then just make a sticky syrup.

The sugar syrup must be kept warm. Keep the sugar syrup pan on top of a bowl or another pan filled with hot water to prevent the sugar from crystalizing. The hot water should touch the base of the pan containing the sugar syrup.

sugar mixture in a pan on a double boiler

Fry Malpua

12. Heat 4 tablespoons ghee in a pan or griddle. Here I am shallow frying the malpua instead of deep-frying them. You can deep fry them if you prefer, though you’ll need much more ghee.

For a lighter version, you can use any neutral flavored oil for frying. You can also use less oil and cook them like pancakes.

ghee on a shallow griddle pan

13. Add 3 pinches (⅛ teaspoon) baking soda to the malpua batter before frying. Instead of baking soda, you can add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.

baking soda being added to malpua batter

14. Mix very well. This is important as you want the baking soda to be mixed evenly.

malpua batter after mixing in the baking soda

15. Lower the heat. Either take 2 to 3 tablespoons or a ladle of the batter and gently pour it on the hot ghee. Spread the batter lightly with the back of the spoon. Make 2 to 4 malpua at a time, depending on the size of the pan. Fry on low to medium heat.

two malpua frying on pan

16. When the base becomes light golden, gently and carefully flip over using a spatula.

frying malpua - after the first flip

17. Flip once more and fry the other side.

frying malpua - after the second flip

18. Flip again and fry till they have a crisp edge and are golden. Working in batches, continue to fry malpua this way, adding more ghee if required.

frying malpua - malpua are golden brown and perfect

19. Drain them on paper towels to remove excess fat.

draining fried malpua on paper towels

Dip Malpua In Sugar Syrup

20. After a quick drain on paper towels, immediately place the fried malpua in the warm sugar syrup. Just a reminder the sugar syrup should be hot or warm as mentioned above.

adding malpua to sugar syrup

21. Gently coat them with the sugar syrup with the help of a spoon or small tongs.

malpua after soaking in the sugar syrup

22. Remove the malpua and place them in a serving tray or plate.

malpua rabdi in an oblong white serving bowl

23. Pour some rabri on top. Garnish with the chopped almonds, pistachios and crushed saffron. Serve rabri malpua hot or warm.

malpua with rabdi served in a oval plate on a dark blue tray with a side white bowl filled with rabdi

How to Serve Malpua

In my opinion, malpua should be served hot or warm. If you serve them at room temperature or chill them, then they become chewy. But if you like chewy texture, you can serve them chilled.

Serving malpua with rabri is optional. You can just serve these pancakes coated with sugar syrup and garnished with blanched almonds and pistachios. However many people are fond of the malpua rabdi combo. If you plan to make rabri, then you can make it up to a day before you prepare the malpua.

In the step by step I have not included the rabri recipe. Here you can check the step by step recipe on How To Make Rabri. I have also listed the recipe details for making rabri in the recipe card below.

FAQs for Malpua

Can I make them ahead of time?

While you can certainly make the batter up to a day ahead, I recommend that you make the malpua fresh when you plan on serving them. Please note that the batter will end up tasting a bit more sour if you choose to allow it to ferment overnight; you may also need to add a tablespoon or two of water if the batter becomes too thick during refrigeration.

Can I use sweetened condensed milk instead of khoya?

Sure! Swap in 1 to 2 tablespoons of condensed milk or more as needed in place of khoya. But remember that condensed milk will make the batter sweet. So you will have to either omit making the sugar syrup or make it with less amounts of sugar.

Why are my malpua chewy?

Sounds like you put them in the refrigerator. While I’m not sure of the science behind it, malpua do become chewy when they have been chilled. For best results, serve them hot from the pan.

Do I have to dip them in sugar syrup?

Not if you don’t want to! If you still want the malpua to be sweet without the sugar syrup, try adding a mashed banana or a few extra tablespoons of sugar to the batter.

Can I use whole wheat flour?

Absolutely. Just note that the texture will not be as light and fluffy as the malpua made with all purpose flour and you will need a bit more water to make the batter.

More Popular Indian Sweets!

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

Malpua is a popular Indian sweet of fried fluffy pancakes dipped in sugar syrup and served with rabdi or sweetened thickened milk.

Prep Time 35 mins

Cook Time 25 mins

Total Time 1 hr



Servings 3

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This Malpua Recipe post from the archives (Feb 2015) has been republished and updated on 23 September 2021.

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