It hails from the Gujarati community but is my cheats’ version; no soaking or grinding required, so purists beware. Use any vegetables you have at home and preferably those that are at their best and in season; these are always present in the fridge and freezer but you can also use courgettes, cabbage, spinach, even fresh fenugreek leaves.
This savoury cake is spongy, crispy on the edges and replete with the textures of the vegetables. It is light and satisfying, easy to make and takes care of itself in the oven.
- 165 g (1 cup) semolina
- 125 ml plain yoghurt
- 125 ml water
- 40 g frozen peas
- 2 tbsp chopped onions
- 1 small grated carrot
- A handful of frozen or fresh green beans, roughly broken up
- 8 g ginger, peeled and made into a paste
- 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
- ¼-1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste (season well)
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (45 ml) oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, plus extra to garnish (optional)
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Green chutney to serve, optional
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F and oil a 20-23 cm (8- in) loaf tin.
2. Mix together the semolina, yoghurt, water, vegetables, ginger, chilli, spices and salt. Taste and adjust if necessary.
3. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the seeds and cook for 15-20 seconds or until the mustard seeds have popped and cumin is aromatic. Stir into the batter, which should be of a medium-thick consistency. If not, add a splash of water.
4. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and leave for 5 minutes. Pour into the tin (you can sprinkle on more sesame seeds here) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with green chutney.
Recipe from Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand (Quadrille)]