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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sweet Dish for the occasion of Saraswati Puja




Today is Saraswati Puja, the ritual worship of the goddess Saraswati (Goddess of Wisdom and Knowledge). Saraswati Puja is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the Magha month of the Indian calendar, on the day called 'Vasant Panchami'.
The most significant aspect of this day is that Hindu Children are taught writing their first words on this day (known as “Haathe Khori”, meaning writing with chalk in hand) - as it is considered an auspicious day to begin a Child's Education.
Traditionally, priests make Children write the word as per customs like for Bengali People, it’s the Bengali Alphabets and for Non-Bengali People, it’s ‘Om’.
This year it was a special celebration for our family as my child was taught to write the Bengali Alphabets for the first time.

The recipe for Saraswati Puja is strictly vegetarian consisting of Puri, Aloo Dum, Fried Brinjal (Begun Bhaja), Payesh and a sweet dish. Thought of writing the recipe for Malpua.



Ingredients:
  • 150 gms Plain Flour, shifted
  • 100 gms Milk Powder
  • 2 tbsp Aniseed (Saunf / Mouri)
  • 2 Black Cardamoms (Badi Elaichi), finely crushed
  • 3-4 Black Pepper, finely crushed
  • Water
  • Milk (optional)
  • White Oil, for frying

Sugar Syrup

  • 500 grams Sugar
  • 625 ml Water
  • 3-4 Green Cardamoms (Chhoti Elaichi)

Method:

1) Combine flour and milk powder in a mixing bowl. Add water and mix slowly to form a smooth batter of a pouring consistency (Add a little milk, if necessary to thin the batter).
2) Add aniseed, crushed black cardamoms and black pepper in the batter and mix well. Keep aside for 30 mins.
3) For the Sugar Syrup, put sugar and water in a saucepan (if 1 cup of sugar is used then use 1 ½ cups of water).
4) Bring to boil. Stir for 8-10 minutes till a thick stringy syrup is formed. Split and add the green cardamoms in the syrup. Remove from fire and keep the syrup in 2 separate bowls.
5) Heat oil in a non-stick flat bottomed frying pan, carefully spoon out a small amount of batter into the pan to form a circular pancake.



6) Let it stand for a few moments and then flip the malpua over. Let it stand for another few moments and fry until golden brown. Remove from fire.
7) Drain the excess oil and transfer the malpua into the sugar syrup.



8) Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
9) From time to time, the remaining sugar syrup can be heated a little and poured over the malpuas. Serve hot.

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