All these years I would approach cooking like I approached everything else. I would pick one item/ skill/ task that I had no clue about and start doing it from scratch. My success rate was normal. Somethings turned out great whether in the kitchen or otherwise in life.
I would always look back at that event and wonder why I chose it. And I could never really come up with a convincing reason other than because I wanted to.
But recently I had an epiphany off just another Tuesday (or was it a Thursday) when I least expected it and that’s when I decided I wasn’t always going to start from scratch just because I perceived I knew nothing about the task at hand. I was first going to use what I had to best of my ability and then seek things to do them better.
I know! I know! What does this have to do with cooking! Everything. I stopped going in search of recipes where I would have to buy everything from scratch.
Now I just raid my cupboard (errm my mother’s for now but nobody is concerned about such tiny details) and build a recipe around ingredients I find. For salads, stir frys and even sandwiches — the search,build and eat method works. But for cakes, not so much.
I found a unassuming brown-paper packet of what said tulsi ke beej. It completely looked like what khus khus would look like if black and all of a sudden, inspiration struck.
I remembered seeing this recipe but, on second thought, it seemed really rich, especially given that I am not supposed to be eating any sweets at all. But rarely I have gone back from her site disappointed and sure enough, in her forums is where I found this gem. And a Nigella recipe, no less. And not very rich.
It’s a fragrant cake, not rich, a delicious crunch and for a chocolate-lovah like me, a great discovery that without cocoa and chocolate, you still can get a finger-linking good cake.
And oh yes, I decided to stick to the recipe for a change and did not replace the self-raising flour ( maida with baking powder). Thanks to a temperamental over, it was not a perfect looking cake, but hey matter before form right?
Also in Mumbai’s rain-drenched days, nothing like a lemony bite with a hot cuppa to remind of why lemon is such a delicious flavour.
Here is the recipe I followed.
1 cup softened, unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 lg eggs, beaten (I used four small to medium eggs)
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
1) beat together butter and sugar
2) add zest
3) beat in eggs
4) mix in flour and poppyseeds
5) add lemon juice
Bake for 1 hour @ 180 (I baked at 50 C, for less than 20 minutes)