Banana Malpua (Fried Indian Pancake for Diwali)

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 0m
  • Cook Time: 0m
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“Malpua is an Indian pancake-like dessert fried in oodles of ghee and sugar syrup. The traditional sweet has been a festive staple since eons. For the longest time in Indian households, malpuas were associated with something celebratory. This is very popular in Northern and Eastern part of the country and the history goes back to the days of Aryans. This mouthwatering dish is prepared nowadays during Eid or Holi or during Diwali.”


1 cup milk

2 cups white sugar, divided

1 1/2 cups water

5 pods green cardamom, crushed, or more to taste

7 saffron strands, or more to taste

2 ripe bananas

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup semolina flour (suji)

7 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds (saunf)

1 pinch salt

1 pinch baking soda (optional)

3/4 cup sunflower oil

4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

8 slivered almonds, or more to taste

8 raisins, or more to taste


  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  2. Bring 1 1/2 cups sugar and water to a boil in another saucepan. Add cardamom and saffron. Boil until syrup is thick and sticky, 4 to 7 minutes. Pour syrup into a bowl and place it over warm water to keep warm.
  3. Blend warmed milk, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, bananas, flour, semolina, condensed milk, fennel, salt, and baking soda in a food processor until smooth, not be too thick or too runny. Cover and let rest, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  4. Heat oil and ghee in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Drop 1 large spoonful of batter into the center to make a 2-inch pancake. Cook until edges turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and fry until both sides are golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Dunk cooled pancakes into the syrup, one by one. Garnish with almonds and raisins.
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