Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ragi Cardamom Cake - Delicious and Oh So Simple!

The image of a cake made with Ragi (Finger Millet) flour can evoke a not so happy response from most people who think of cake as a sweet treat that is either made with lots of chocolate or then, is light and fluffy and has tons of icing on it.

Hello! Cakes can be healthy too, and with the right ingredients, can make a wonderful and delicious afternoon snack. Finger millet or "Ragi" as it is popularly know in the southern states of India, is a highly underutilized grain. It is packed with nutrition and is unfortunately associated by many as a breakfast grain, to be used to make porridge. Actually, it lends itself to baking very well and I have realized that it is a wholesome flour to use to make an eggless cake that is infused with cardamom.

Here is a the recipe. It was devoured very quickly by all at home and this is a recipe that I will get back to again and again. I was inspired by the chocolate cake recipe from Padhu to come up with my own take on the use of Ragi flour.

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour.
1/2 cup ragi flour (I used the organic flour from 24 Mantra).
1/2 cup dried sweetened coconut.
1/4 cup ground almonds (blanched).
3/4 tsp baking soda.
1 and 1/4 tsp cardamom.
Pinch of salt.
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of powdered brown sugar (this amount can be varied to suit your sweet tooth).

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup full fat yogurt.
1 cup reduced fat milk (infused with saffron).
1/4 cup canola oil


Take about three table spoons of the milk and warm it in the microwave. Place a few strands of saffron in the milk. The milk should get a lovely yellow color and aroma from the saffron in 15 minutes. Now mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients including the saffron infused milk. Now pour the wet ingredients' mixture in the dry ingredients and use a spatula to form a fluid batter. This is more fluid than most cake batter. Pour the batter in a greased (I use butter), square glass baking pan (8 inch by 8 inch), and bake in a preheated oven (350 F) for about 30 minutes or until done just enough to get a toothpick out clean, when inserted in the cake. This cake is meant to be moist. Cool and cut into desired size pieces. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!