My Aunt Irene is reknowned for her culinary skills and a byword in the family when it comes to cuisine. Her visits during the annual school holidays every year were eagerly awaited as she would come armed with various recipes, the outcome of which we “ever hungry children” would eagerly await. One recipe which has become a household favourite is a simple, moist, eggless Mangalorean Goan sooji cake called Bhole. My mother made it quite often as all it needs is jaggery (palm sugar), coconut water, sooji, a few raisins and cashew nuts and lots of grated coconut. Pop it into the oven and you have a delicious tea time snack to satisfy the hungry hordes.
500 cups fine sooji; 250 gms grated coconut; 250 gms jaggery or more to taste; 250 ml toddy or coconut water- add 1 tbsp sugar to coconut water and keep in a sunny spot for 3 days ); 2 tbsp each of raisins and cashew nuts; 12 tbsp butter or ghee; ½ tsp mixed spice powder; ½ tsp somph (fennel)- crushed .
1 tbsp cashew nuts for scattering on top.
Crush and soak the jaggery in the toddy or coconut water until dissolved. Grind coconut roughly. Mix with the sooji. Add all ingredients. Mix together and keep for 2 hours. Now add 1 tsp baking powder. The batter should be of cake consistency. If necessary add some more toddy or coconut water or plain water. Pour batter into greased and lined cake pan (8’x 8” square). Scatter remaining nuts on top. Bake in preheated oven at 150C until done or toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool, cut into wedges or squares and serve. This cake does not last long, so eat within 2 days.
Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.
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