Makkhan Malai – The Desi Soufflé

That Girl In Muddy Boots

Come winter and the streets of the old towns of North India – particularly Uttar Pradesh – reverberate with the cries of the makhanwala. He comes every morning on his cycle and calls out to the sleepy residents in his trademark style, compelling them to throw off their thick quilts and run towards their gates to claim their dose of frothy heaven.

Soft and fluffy, makhan malai is neither butter nor cream as the name suggests, but a soufflé made up of milk foam. What makes it all the more special is the delicate dew of the winter mornings, which is an essential ingredient of the soufflé: no dew, no makhan malai.

Having grown up with the calls of the makhanwala in the sleepy towns of U.P., I am particularly biased towards the dessert. Even though there are versions of it found in the lanes of Old Delhi that…

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