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Traditional Indian Dessert: Creamy Malai Vada Recipe

Chitrangada has nutrition in mind when cooking for her family. Making tasty nutritious food is a skill she has perfected over the years.

This is my mother's special recipe for creamy malai vada, a traditional Indian dessert.

This is my mother's special recipe for creamy malai vada, a traditional Indian dessert.

Festival Sweet: Malai Vada or Doodh Vada

My mother has many special recipes, but this is one of my favourites. Called creamy malai vada or doodh vada, it is a traditional Indian dessert that is typically made for festivals and special occasions.

Cook Time and Yield

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour

1 hour 15 min

5 servings


  • 1 litre full-cream milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 250 grams maida (flour)
  • 1 cup ghee or refined oil
  • 10 almonds, finely sliced
  • 4 green cardamom pods, ground
  • 3-4 strands saffron
  • 2 cups water


  1. The first step is to prepare the malai. Boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan over low flame till it reduces by half. Add sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, and finely sliced almonds. Set aside.
  2. Now we will begin to prepare the vadas. Mix the flour and water thoroughly till the mixture is free flowing.
  3. Heat ghee or refined oil in an already hot, thick-bottomed pan. Add the flour and water batter. Quickly stir the mixture and let the water evaporate. The mixture should resemble a dough. Take it out and let it cool.
  4. Once the mixture has cooled down, make small vadas or balls.
  5. Heat a pan and add ghee or refined oil. Fry the small vadas one by one till each turns golden brown.
  6. Gently add all of the vadas to the malai (from step 1). Let the vadas soak for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy.


“Take the time to prepare a traditional meal. Respect the patience, creativity, and heartbeat invested into the recipe.”

—Carmela. D. Amore

“The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: Love for those, you are cooking for.”

—Sophia Loren

Cook's Notes

  • If you do not eat dairy, you can substitute non-dairy milk in this recipe.
  • If you wish to reduce the amount of sugar, you can do so and it will still taste delicious.
Creamy malai vada tastes best when it is still warm.

Creamy malai vada tastes best when it is still warm.

My Mother's Recipes

Most of us have memories of delicious recipes we enjoyed in our childhood. They may have been simple recipes, or they may have complex ones. Once we are adults, it's difficult to get the same flavour or taste—especially if the dish is made by someone else.

This is true when it comes to my mother's recipes.

My mother cooked delicious food for us every day. I have so many precious memories of enjoying the delicacies she made for my family.

I didn’t realise it then, but while I observed her in the kitchen I was learning the basic skills of cooking.

Being successful in your job is one thing, but the pleasure you get while cooking for your family is another thing. Seeing their grateful faces when you serve them delicious homemade food gives immense joy and satisfaction.

Some of my mother’s recipes were simple, some traditional—and some were her special creations, made especially for us.

I believe that even if you give the same recipe to two different people, the taste will be different. I believe it's a mother's love for her children that makes her recipes so special, so yummy, and so unforgettable.

© 2020 Chitrangada Sharan