Pancakes and Vermicelli

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Pancakes (malpura)

This recipe makes 5 pancakes

You will need the following ingredients -

1 teacup fine wholemeal and plain flour mixed, 3 tablespoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teacup of milk and water, i teaspoon of somph (aniseed) or a few drops of lemon juice will do and 2 or 3 tablespoons of set butter-fat.

Sieve the flour in a mixing bowl, add sugar and baking powder, and gradually add the warmed-up milk and water. The batter for pancakes (malpuras) should be of medium thickness. Beatfor several minutes, add somph or lemon juice, and beat once again. Leave in a warm place for about an hour.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter-fat in a frying pan, beat the batter once more, adding a tablespoon more of water if its required; then pour two tablespoons of the batter into a teacup, and from the teacup spread it evenly on the smoking fat, taking care to keep the malpura as round as possible. Fry over medium heat, fairly quicky, and in plenty of fat. When light brown on both sides, remove from the pan and place in a shallow dish. Repeat the process until all the malpuras are fried.

When ready, the edges of the malpuras will be crisp, but the centre will be more like the usual pancake. They can be piled one on top of the other, and are usually served just warm. They are a great favourite during the rainy season, and in some places they are served with rice pudding.

Sweet Vermicelli (sweet sayvia) 

75g sugar, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup, 300ml water, 1 and a half tablespoons of set butter-fat, 90g of slightly broken vermicelli and 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds or grated nutmeg.

Can be made for 4 people

Mix together the sugar, syrup and water and boil for a few minutes. Put this by you in a jug. Heat the butter-fat, and gently fry the vermicelli in it until it is of a rich golden colour. Pour onto this the previously prepared syrup mixture, and boil quickly for 2 0r 3 minutes. Turn the heat low, and gently boil until there is no superflous moisture left in the vermicelli.

To prevent sticking, it is better to finish off cooking the vermicelli in a moderately hot oven.

When ready, the sweet vermicelli should be a golden brown colour, not mashy or sticking together. Mix in the crushed cardamom seeds or nutmeg after taking the vermicelli out of the oven, and serve piping hot.