Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Healthy Way To Treat Yourself

As I gear up for the upcoming bake sale, I am making a mental note of ingredients I want to use to give my baked goodies an Indian twist. Baking technique is not used in Indian cooking; at least not the kind known to people in the U.S. There is, however, one thing that popped up in my head while thinking hard about Indian baked items. My childhood favorite - Rava Cake! Ahh, I can still smell the wonderful aroma filled in the entire house when my mom treated us to this tasty snack. You may say 'healthy' and 'treats' just don't go together, but I can guarantee you, this cake doesn't have half the calories of the regular cake.

It's a simple recipe you will remember off the top of your head. I took it up a notch by adding a subtle yet exciting flavor to it - Gulkand (rose petals preserve)! This addition took the cake to a whole new level while maintaining the very essence of the cake - being completely Indian! This cake is not as fluffy as the all purpose flour cakes but is very moist and the texture of rava makes it interesting to eat.

Gulkand Rava Cake with edible rose buds

Gulkand Rava Cake/Rose Petal Preserve Semolina Cake 

Ingredients:
1 Cup Rava (Semolina)
1 Cup yogurt 
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
1.5-2 Tablespoons gulkand
1/2 Teaspoon cardamom powder (as in any Indian sweets)
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
  • Mix rava, yogurt, sugar, gulkand, cardamom powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the milk and mix well. The batter should be runny like the usual cake batter. Add the remaining milk as needed. 
  • Keep the batter aside for 2-3 hours to soak. Rava will puff up slightly and become soft in this process. Make sure the gulkand is broken up and mixed well.
  • Pour the batter in a greased baking pan.
  • Preheat cake to 300F and bake the cake for 25-30 minute or until the sides turn brown. You should make sure the cake is baked by poking a knife. If it comes out clean, it's done. 
  • Let the cake cool, pull it from the sides using a knife and it should come out very easily if you flip it on a plate. Cut the cake in small pieces. I decorate the cake with edible petals and buds (completely edible - a friend gave them to me to flavor green tea). 
You can add dry fruits to the cake batter for a tasty surprise in a bite.

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