Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Simple, No Bake, Semolina / Rawa Cake

This simple Semolina or Rawa Cake is in celebration of my completion of 100 posts on this blog. It did take long to reach here and it can all be attributed to my initial slow action :) True to tradition, my 101st post is a celebrative recipe - a very simple, no egg, no dairy and a no bake cake. This cake has a lot of nostalgic memories attached to it for me. There was a time when not every house had an oven and housewives had to think of ways to make a cake. Many found ways to make a cake in a cooker and my mother was one of them. I was a nut for sweet dishes then and mom had to rack her brain to make something that I would eat. This semolina / rawa cake was one of those evening snacks she made on our return from school.  And I loved it and would ask her to make it often. Then I guess we got over our fancy for this cake and mom stopped making it and forgot the recipe as well. Many years later, I saw a savory version of this recipe and spoke with mom about it and she gave me a broad idea on the ingredients she had used. A couple of trials later I got the recipe right for this Semolina / Rawa Cake.
This is a simple steamed cake with semolina, coconut and jaggery with cardamom to flavor it.
Semolina / Rawa - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Water - 3/4 to 1 cup
Cardamom pwd - a couple of pinches
Fruit salt (Eno) - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp to grease the vessel
for garnishing
Caster Sugar
Cashew nuts
Ghee - 1 tsp
Shred the jaggery and keep aside. Heat the water and add the jaggery to it and stir till it is melted. Strain the jaggery liquid and keep it aside.
In a bowl add the jaggery liquid, the semolina / rawa, the coconut and the cardamom powder and mix well. Keep this aside and heat water in the pressure cooker or steamer. Take the ghee and grease a pan or cooker vessel or a thali with it. Lower the heat when the water in the cooker or steamer starts bubbling.  Add the fruit salt or Eno into the semolina and mix and immediately pour it out into the pan or thali. Steam this for 5 minutes on high heat then reduce to medium heat and continue steaming for another 10 minutes.
Take the thali or vessel out of the steamer or cooker and let it cool. When cool run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate.
For serving, roast the cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee and decorate the cake with it.
Fact: Semolina or Rawa is also called Farina in some places.
When we shifted to the US we got used to picking up pre-packed bags of groceries. Later we started frequenting a store that was more like a farmers market and with a lot of stuff for the local Mexican population. This store kept bins of loose grain, sugar, lentils, different types of trail mixes and pulses. They had plastic bags into which we could scoop stuff and then had to stick a sticker with the corresponding product code. This was then weighed at the counter and billed. On one of my shopping trips I found a bin that had something called farina and on looking closely discovered it to be rawa. They also had mung bean, dried red chillies, sugar dried peas in those bins and the best thing it was way cheaper than at the Indian  store. We were happy with this find because we did not frequent the Indian store that was about 12 - 15 miles away. That's my story for today!

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