Basic recipe from Femina 2000 – 2002 cookery pages
Makes: 16 – 18 slices
Please use same measuring cup to measure flour, milk, sugar and oil.
For the flour:
1 cup (200 ml / 8 oz – standard measuring cup available in India) all purpose flour (maida)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon shajeera (cake jeerakaam– available @ Santosh super store, Chennai)
½ teaspoon clove powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger powder (chukka podi)
1 tablespoon chopped cashew nuts
Sieve thrice all the ingredients with maida (except chopped cashew nuts). Keep aside in a separate container. Finally, gently mix with chopped cashew nuts.
3/4 cup good quality seed less dates, soft in texture - then it'll be easy to make a fine paste (20 nos, 89 g, ¾ th level in a standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity), chopped
Wipe each date with a soft kitchen towel. Make a fine paste of dates in a small mixer bowl.
¾ cup sugar (3/4 th level of a standard measuring cup (200 ml / 8 oz capacity)
¾ cup milk
½ cup oil sunflower oil – 100 ml / 4 oz (do not use coconut oil and ghee)
In a wide deep bowl, gently dissolve sugar with milk and sunflower oil and make a smooth solution. Add dates paste and stir well until dates paste well combined with sugar – milk – oil.
Gently add sieved flour mix. Stir well until well combined with all the ingredients.
Grease baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter and dust with 1 tablespoon flour ( sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour inside a cake pan and shake to coat all greased surface. Turn pan upside down to tap out the excess flour ).
Preheat oven (OTG) at 180 *C or 350*C (very moderate).
Transfer this cake mixture into a greased baking pan - ring, square or round (or paper lined ). Spread evenly with a spatula, and bake at 180 * C or 350 * F for 35 - 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean / leaves from the sides of the pan. Keep aside to cool for half an hour.
Run a knife round inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and then invert the pan. Cut into desired shape and size.