Sunday, 9 September 2018

Malido (Parsi Style Pudding made for Religious Ceremonies)

Parsi Malido
A labour of love, a mix of ethnicities, a recipe made only for Jasans (Zoroastrian prayer ceremonies) and immune to modern twists and tweaks is - the Malido. At the onset it starts off like the churma/ choorma (a popular Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Bihari, Uttar Pradeshi and Awadhi delicacy from India of coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee [clarified butter] and sugar.) except that the Malido uses twice as much semolina to wheat flour and is cooked in sugar syrup and finished off with a happy addition of eggs (to give it a creamy depth, the main texture of the dish being coarse). You can skip the eggs, but Parsis consider a house without eggs no less than a national calamity, so.... you get the drift.

If I had to describe what the Malido is to a non Parsi, I'd say its a mix between a choorma ladoo and suji (semolina) halwa.

Now like most of my tweaks to good ole' Parsi recipes, I once tried making the malido without frying the flat breads and mincing them to a fine powder. The result was an illegitimate offspring of a day old roti (Indian flatbread) and Ravo (Parsi style semolina milk pudding) and though palatable, was nothing close to what the Malido is supposed to be - coarse!.

So cutting back on 95% of the ghee was clearly not an option here. However downsizing it by 40% and reducing the sugar by 30% , I finally managed to create an exact replica of the Malido, my Parsi taste buds are so used to devouring since the last thirty odd years.


I must warn you here that this IS a labour of love and one does need a sizable excuse to spend half an afternoon with a multiple of kitchen occupants. (Mine was an unwell pre schooler asking for some), and a parent can't say no to a sweet face....

Malido is best enjoyed, if eaten fresh and slightly warm, along with a unique Parsi flat bread called the Papri. The salty taste of the Papri brings out the inherent flavor of the Malido. A unique Parsi sweetmeat, indeed.


Makes about 600 grams of Malido
Here's the recipe

You will need:

1/2 cup semolina (suji/ rava/ ferina/ cream of wheat)
1/4 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 + 1/2 cup water
1+1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
3 cardamom pods - powdered
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
2 eggs - optional
1/4 cup mix of chopped almonds, cashews, charoli nuts and raisins - to garnish

Method:

In a bowl mix together the semolina and whole wheat flours with some salt, whisk well.


To this add in 1 tablespoon ghee and a little water (about 1/4 cup) to make a stiff dough.

Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.


Now pluck out small portions of the dough to make small sized flat discs, make them as thin as you can, they will fry faster that way.


Now heat all the remaining ghee in heavy bottomed kadhai (wok) over medium low heat.

Fry the discs in small batches until they turn a reddish golden in colour and are cooked all the way through.

Remove onto a kitchen towel and allow to cool down.


Once cool pulse the fried discs in a blender or food processor to obtain a coarse powder. (Do
not grind to a fine powder).


To make the sugar syrup boil 1/2 cup water along with the sugar until a slightly thick consistency is achieved (no need for one or two strands to form as this is a soft set pudding).


Now fry the powdered discs in the same ghee for another 5 - 7 minutes till it starts to waft a pleasant aroma.

Add in the sugar syrup and cook till the syrup just begins to be absorbed by the powder.

Switch off the heat and transfer the wok onto your kitchen counter, here allow to cool for 5 minutes.


After 5 minutes, add in two beaten eggs, incorporate into the mix and then put the wok back to LOW heat.


Cook till the eggs are absorbed in the mixture, the mixture leaves the sides of the wok and a spoon inserted in the center doesn't fall off.


Remove from the heat and add in the nutmeg and cardamom powders along with the vanilla essence.

Garnish with mixed dried fruits of your choice.

Enjoy!


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