A friend made a food wish, an eggless cake please!! A simple request from a perfect hostess living in England; I had to take it up. She said, any eggless cake I had, never tastes as good. I agree; the fluffy airy texture of a beaten egg in a cake is what cakes are famous for. Can you substitute it? I think not!! And hence I suggest lets create a cake where there is no substitution involved!! So here is a classic goan recipe of a semolina based cake. The feel, aroma and texture, all of it is different. And hence, without substituting anything in any of your favourite recipe, you get a wonderful dessert for that ‘jain’ guest, who is about to visit!!
Now before you delve into the making of this cake, let me give you a bit of a heads up. Semolina/durum wheat is by nature heavier than flour. So obviously to make it softer, desserty kinds, you can either put in an astronomical amount oil/butter or, take out some time to soak these grains. Semolina porridge is an example of the first technique while this recipe is an example of the second. So, no oil, no flour and no eggs involved!!
3 Ripe bananas (big) or as I used, 9 of the mini ones
1 cup semolina (wheat sooji/rava)
1 tsp Sodium-bi-carbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
2 cups Coconut milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Cashew nuts
A pinch of salt
Dry roast semolina over low heat in a wok until aroma wafts off. Then soak that rava in coconut milk for 2 hours.
Meanwhile mash the bananas well and add soda, salt, sugar and cardamom powder to it. Let it sit out so that the sugar gets a bit of time to loosen up.
After 2 hrs, mix all of them together and put in the cashews.
Oil the cake mould and pour in the mixture. You can decorate with cashews on top. As the cake doesn’t have anything which will fluff it, the nuts on top will show and get roasted beautifully in the oven.
Preheat the oven and bake for around 40-45 mins at 220 degrees c or until a knife put in centre comes out clean. The cake will be a little difficult to bake as the stubborn rava does take a little more time to cook than your usual cake. Remember to always check for doneness, right at the centre. Once done, let it cool.
Decoration tip: slice off the cake from the middle a spread over a big dollop of strawberry crush or any other fruit crush. It tastes best when served cold!!