As neededChopped Pistachios or almonds, for garnish (optional)
For the Sugar Syrup:
2Cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Make the Malpua batter:
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all purpose flour, sooji, sugar, ground fennel, cardamom, salt and baking powder. Whisk well. Stir in evaporated milk and whisk to make a smooth batter with no lumps. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Make the Sugar Syrup:
In a medium size pan on medium-high heat, combine sugar, water and cardamom pods. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 3~4 minutes or until the syrup thickens.
Pour enough oil in a medium size to cover up to about ¼". Heat on medium flame. Whisk the batter well and add the water to make a pourable pancake batter consistency. Gently pour ¼ cup of batter into the hot oil to form the pancake. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and top is almost set, takes about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the malpua and cook on the other side until golden brown, another 1~2 minutes.Using a slotted spoon, remove the malpua from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Add warm pancakes to the sugar syrup and let soak for 1~2 minutes. Remove onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle the leftover syrup over the pancakes while serving. Top with chopped nuts if desired.
I recommend using evaporated milk in the recipe. But if you cannot source evaporated milk, then simmer about 2½ cups of whole milk until it becomes 1½ cups.
Consistency of the sugar syrup is very important in this dish. If it is too thin, then the pancakes will become soggy and fall apart and if it too thick then the pancakes won't absorb the sugar. So make sure to simmer it on medium flame for 3~4 minutes until thick.
Make sure to fry the malpua on medium heat until golden brown and crispy all over. Not frying them enough will make them soggy when soaked in sugar syrup.
To make this recipe a little healthy, shallow fry the pancakes in little oil instead of deep frying.
Store leftover malpua in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm them briefly in a microwave before serving.