Chhena Malpua

Chena Malpua | Playful Cooking

I really don’t know where to start! Undoubtedly, this is the longest pause I ever took in blogging and I truly hope it’s over. I cook every single day, sometimes even twice. But in between changing the diapers and putting Avyan to sleep, I have no clue how my day starts and how it ends. I keep saying to myself, ‘it’s all about finding a method to the madness. I’ve got to make time, a little bit everyday, just for my blog’. So last week, I got my gear out and photographed food, after a long time. It was challenging. Wish I had all my props or at-least a better backdrop than our coffee table and I was not happy with the light. In spite of all that, it felt really nice to be able to make time to start once again!


Chena Malpua | Playful Cooking


Moving back to India was a challenging mission. Avyan was just 4 months when he took his first flight, 21 hours from San Francisco to Bangalore, and he was a total sport. He slept through the flight, didn’t fuss a lot and it took him just three days to adapt to a different time zone. It was we, the grownups, who were having a hard time. After arriving in India, we spent few weeks with family in Kolkata. Everybody was eagerly waiting to meet our baby and he was thoroughly enjoying all the attention. It was a much-needed break for us too. Gatherings, laughter’s, lots of food and of course, catching up on sleep. It felt so good! And just like that, a month zoomed by before the madness started once again – finding a place to live in Bangalore, endless shopping list and of course, adjusting with life in general.


What kept our spirit elevated in the midst of the chaos was the festive season; the colors, the bling and the non-stop feasting. India, the land of many cultures and languages, shines brighter at this time of the year. Last week, we celebrated Diwali, festival of light.


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


I prepared Malpuas for Diwali celebrations. It’s are one of the popular Indian sweet treats and probably, one of the easiest desserts to prepare, even on a busy day. These are like mini pancakes, deep-fried until golden brown and then either dipped in sugar syrup or thickened cream called Rabri. I prepared the malpuas using chhena (fresh paneer) and that made it much more softer in texture. Dipped in golden syrup, flavored with cardamom powder and hint of saffron, these malpuas were quite a delight!

Chena Malpua | Playful Cooking

Chhena Malpua

Yield: 10 to 12 malpuas (depending on what size you shape the dough)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • few cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • tiny pinch of saffron threads
  • pinch of salt
  • oil, for deep frying


  1. To make chhena/fresh paneer, pour milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add lemon juice and stir. The milk should curdle immediately. Strain it in a muslin cloth or cheesecloth over colander. Bring the ends of cloth together and tie it. Hang it somewhere so that it can drain all the water out. This should take about an hour.
  2. Once done, mix the fresh chhena with flour, cardamom powder, salt and baking soda. Knead to form smooth dough. If it’s too watery, add more flour. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or kitchen towel and allow it to rest for a while.
  3. In the meantime, make the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, add sugar and water. Then, add saffron threads along with the cloves. Bring it to a boil and allow it to darken. The syrup shouldn’t be too watery or too sticky.
  4. Once the syrup and dough is ready, heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the malpuas. Make sure the oil is medium hot or else, the malpuas with burn as soon you drop them.
  5. Take a lump of around 1-teaspoon from the dough and flatten it using your hand or a rolling pin. Don’t make it too thin or too thick. Drop it in medium hot oil and let it fry until golden brown. Once done, dip it immediately in the hot syrup and allow it to float.
  6. Once all the malpuas are ready, keep them floating in the sugar syrup. If you are not serving it immediately, refrigerate it. And before serving, heat it in the microwave. It tastes best when it’s warm.


While making chhena/fresh paneer, make sure the milk is not too hot or else, it might not curdle. Also, while heating the milk, keep stirring in between to avoid it from getting burnt at the bottom.

Chena Malpua | Playful Cooking

Did you enjoy this Chhena Malpua? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Reem
    November 2, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Welcome back gal!!!!
    Every pic looks pretty…
    it’s so nice to see you back in action!

  • Rumela
    November 2, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Lovely photographs! Yummy Malpuas !! It’s been a long time I had this sweet! Soon will give it a try 🙂

  • Lail | With A Spin
    Lail | With A Spin
    November 2, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Welcome back! Delicious malpua. Gorgeous photos! Glad that you are settling down and getting a grip on the madness 🙂

  • ahu @ ahueats
    ahu @ ahueats
    November 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Glad to see you back! What gorgeous photos of your journey – which has been a big one! The chhena malpua look so good – they remind me of a Persian dessert called Zoolbia (I think it’s also called Jalabi).

  • Foodess
    November 2, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Good to have you back! But don’t feel guilty about taking a much deserved break to adjust to your new life. I’ve never heard of these things but I really wish I could snatch one from my screen – they sound amazing!

  • Nandita
    November 2, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Good to see your post Kankana!!! The maples looks gorgeous. I loved the last shot 🙂

  • Fatma
    November 2, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Welcome back and Happy Diwali

    Good to see you back to the blog ^_^

  • IshitaUnblogged
    November 3, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    I missed your blogposts – welcome back Kankana… and good to see a Bengali sweet as your comeback post. All my Kolkata friends are all settled in Bangalore now, one even took Bancharam from Kolkata and opened four outlets there, that too a Tam Brahm! Good wishes for your new life… and love to the little Avyan. Just write, don’t give an explanation to your readers.

  • dixya
    November 3, 2014 at 3:20 AM

    so nice to see you back..i hope the transition will go smoothly for you guys. i cant imagine the adjustments, i m sure with time it will get better.

  • Rohit
    November 3, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    Very nice pics…. Kolkata and Bangalore and both amazing places to be, especially for food!

  • Shibi@FlavzCorner
    [email protected]
    November 3, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    Glad to see you back!!! Hope to see more exciting recipes and pictures!!

  • Resham
    November 3, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    Welcome back!!! Missed your colorful posts. 🙂

  • Archana
    November 3, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    Glad to see you back! Love the recipe and the gorgeous pictures!!! Festive season is the best in India!

  • Soma
    November 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Yes, welcome back. Lovely pictures. Never made it in my life but thy look delicious.

  • Rawa
    November 4, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Beautiful pics! Welcome back!

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdve
    November 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Welcome back and I am glad to see your new post.. the photos are great

  • lainy
    November 11, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    I can’t say how much I like your stunning dishes and blog! They encourage me to pick up culinary & baking skills, though I’m kinda not so good at them… anyhow, thank you for sharing such amazing foods, photos and recipes!!

  • shreya
    November 13, 2014 at 4:43 AM

    I love to eat malpuas. I often tried to make it by myself but failed to do every time. This time I must try according to your recipe and i expect the result to be fruitful as yours. Thank u so much for sharing the recipe with us. Keeping posting with lots more of different recipes….

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