By Akhileshwari Anand Raj
Preparation Time - 20 mins
Baking Time - 30 - 35 mins
Number Of Servings - 8
Cucumber cake, also known as tavasali, has its origins in the Konkan coast. It is typically found in Goa, but also prominent in Maharashtrian cooking. It is definitely a delicacy specific to the area, and may seem very different and new to anyone who hasn’t heard of it before. We have all heard of various fruit cakes, but cucumber is definitely unique. It is typically steamed, but Nazneen’s recipe is to bake this dish and present it in a cake form. She recommends using any variant of cucumber that is available seasonally. Here is what she has to say about her recipe -
So the story behind my recipe is my childhood memories. We used to spend our vacation at my hometown in Ratnagiri in the early ’80s, and this was the most sought after dessert. It's so close to my heart that every time I smell this cucumber cake, it reminds me of my grandma and me eating it on a rope swing on the tree outside my house. This recipe is a tribute to my grandma and a way to revive my childhood memories every time I bake it.
1. Take the green cucumbers and peel them. Grate them and take 1 cup grated cucumber into a bowl. You can use cucumber without peeling too, but the texture will be smoother if peeled.
2. Add jaggery and shredded coconut. Mix well and keep the mixture aside.
3. After this, heat a pan up to medium heat.
4. Add ghee and semolina to the pan, and roast the semolina for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let the semolina cool down.
5. Add the semolina into the cucumber mixture and mix well.
6. Add your dry fruits at this stage. I have used raisins and cashew nuts, but you can use anything you want. You can also skip this stage if you want to.
7. Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix well.
8. Cover and rest the mixture for an hour.
9. Using an 8” cake tin, grease the tin well with some extra ghee.
10. Pour the mixture in the baking tin. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes at 200 C.
11. Check if the cake is baked by pricking a toothpick or knife in the center. If the toothpick or knife comes out clean, the cake is baked. If not, bake it for a few more minutes until done.
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