Makhan malai is one of Lucknow’s most famous dessert. Its airy, sweet, fluffy and cloud like consistency makes it disappear in your mouth in no time. The winter specialty is more than just a dish, rather it takes the epicure on a journey through the elaborate process that goes into the making of the dish.
The culmination of milk, cream and an assortment of condiments made with love can all be tasted in each bite of the makhan malai. Available only in winters, the dish has a mysterious bond with the season.
The cloudy makhan malai is made by an elaborate process that requires tenderness and patience. A rhythmic momentum is created by hands pulling across a primitive blender to churn out the makhan from the malai. This process turns milk into fresh, handmade butter. To add extra flavour, sugar, cardamom powder and yellow food color are sprinkled over the portion.
The final stage in the preparation of the winter dish is to let it simmer overnight, so that all the ingredients blend in to give an explosion of flavours. At the break of dawn, it is let out to breathe and allowed to set in the morning dew, giving it that extra flavour.
Makhan malai is widely available in Lucknow. The best however, can be found near the historic Gol Darwaza in Chowk. The intriguing calls of Azaan are heard for ‘fajr namaaz’ in the morning which is a signal to start preparation of the winter special. Authentic makhan malai is also available in the old parts of Lucknow such as Chowk and Nakhhas.
Lakhnavi makhan malai imbibes the elements of nafasat (softness) and the old age charm that comes with it. The flavors that linger on give a glimpse of heaven, which we wish could be prolonged. If you’re in Lucknow for the winters or even a localite, trying makhan malai is a must, now that winters are certainly here.