Dessert | Wedding Delicacies from Rajasthan – A Celebration of Love and Many Emotions
An Indian wedding is a perfect blend of traditions, grandeur, delectable cuisine and sacredness of celebrations. The unbound enthusiasm and the flow of emotions of all the family members have to be seen to be believed.
My children have attended many Tam Brahm marriages of their paternal relatives in Chennai but have never seen any Rajasthani marriage from my side. They were too small to remember anything about my brothers’ marriage in 2004, son was hardly four years and daughter was just a few months old.
During my recent visit to Udaipur in May 2013, I got a chance to take them to a typical Marwari marriage. And they were really amused to notice the stark differences between the rituals and proceedings of marriages of two states of India. My daughter quipped that she wants to get married in Rajasthan so that the groom comes riding a horse
Marriages in Rajasthan are a pompous showcase of wealth, grandeur, exotic food spread and involve loads of fun-fare. They watched the entire ceremony with delight, running around the stalls, making friends and dancing on latest Bollywood numbers.
The lush green lawns and the artistically decorated lobby with a red carpet welcome to the Baaratis was overwhelming. On the right are beautifully arranged food stalls. There were traditional curries, Chaat dishes, savories, mocktails and dessert stalls from all parts of Rajasthan. We were literally lost in the sea of delicious dishes and could not make choice as to what to eat and what to avoid.
Papad ki subji, dry fruit chutney methi dana subji, gatte ki subji, Missi roti, Moong dal halwa, Gewar, Daal Baati, Curma Ladoos, Rabdi, Jodhpur Kachori, Ghhewar, Rabadi Ke Malpue, Mawa Kachori, are some popular dishes without which any wedding is incomplete in Rajasthan.
Close family members with colourful lehengas decked up in traditional precious jewellry anxiously wait for hours to welcome the arrival of Baaratis who take their own sweet time to reach the venue, dancing, singing and bursting crackers all the way.
Kamarband (wrist band), Kandora, Baju band (arm band) and Rakoris (head gear) are the most important Rajasthani jewellry worn by women during important functions. These are traditional gold jewellery which are passed on from one generation to other during marriages.
These are the popular Jodhpuri Kachoris, large flat breads stuffed with lentils and spices and deep fried before breaking into smaller pieces and fried again…sheer indulgence.
Motichoor Ladoos are an integral part of any wedding in Rajasthan.
This dessert was quite new to me, I was informed that this is made with fresh cream and mango puree. The dessert needs to be kept on large slab of ice. Yum is the other name for this dessert….
Malpua or Sweet Pancakes
I liked one another favorite dessert of mine with a simple twist in the wedding menu. The person at the counter would ask to select your favorite fruit, dip it in thick batter for Malpua, deep fry the same in ghee and serve it with the topping of your choice.
It was nearly impossible to go to each food stall (70 plus) and taste the delicacies…my children missed this fruity Malpus and asked their granny to make it at home.
Here is a basic recipe for a traditional and very popular Rajasthani dessert called Malpua with Cottage cheese or Paneer. These are soft and spongy pancakes dipped in sugar syrup and served hot or chilled with fresh cream or condensed milk. Any important function or a wedding in Rajasthan is incomplete without this delectable dessert.
- 220 gm Condensed milk
- 100 gm semolina
- 50 gm whole wheat flour
- 50 gm cottage cheese
- 1 cup warm water or more
- 1 tsp. crushed Fennel seeds
- Salt a pinch
- A pinch Baking powder
- Almonds and Pistachios to garnish
- Oil to shallow fry
For sugar syrup
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3 cups Water
- Few strands of Saffron
Method; Soak semolina in 1 cup of warm water for 10 minutes in a large bowl. Make fresh cottage cheese and crumble it loosely.
Add condensed milk, wheat flour, cottage cheese (paneer), salt, crushed fennel seeds and baking powder to soaked semolina mixture. Mix well to make a batter of flowing consistency. Add extra water if you feel that the batter is too thick.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a large pan and add 2 cups of sugar in it and let the sugar melt. Take off the flame and add saffron strands in it.
Heat a griddle and smear a little oil or butter on it. Pour a ladle of Malpua batter to make small pancake shape. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil around it and let it cook for 1-2 minutes till it becomes golden brown in colour. Flip to other side and repeat the same process. Make all Malpuas the same way and arrange them in a large plate. Pour the sugar syrup over the Malpuas.
To serve the dessert, take out the Malpua from the sugar syrup and place it on a small serving plate. Garnish it with crushed almonds and pistachios and serve it with fresh cream or condensed milk.
- The regular Malpuas at home is devoid of condensed milk and sugar syrup. I prefer to replace condensed milk with plain milk and sugar with dark honey. It may not taste as decadent as the traditional recipe but then I don’t need to keep a count on how many goes in my plate
- Authentic recipe of Malpuas is to deep fry the batter in pure ghee and serve with Rabadi. Rabadi is made with high fat content rich milk which is reduced on slow fire for hours on a charcoal hearth to get the woody aromas in it.
- You can serve these Malpuas in more modern ways by pairing it with ice cream of your choice or topped with creamy Mousse.
A file photo of me and my son in 2004 at my brothers’ marriage. I could not wear traditional Ghagra chunri on my brother’s marriage as I had just delivered my daughter and was not comfortable to wear that heavy attire.
“Marriage is not about the beginning; marriage is about the process and still being able to love through all things.” ~ Rhonda. A marriage is a once in a life time ceremony in which not only vows, but also two families are shared.