Finally the day has arrived. I’m leaving today … hooray!!! After waiting for so many months i’m going back. My tickets were confirmed yesterday morning and that gave me just 2 days to wipe my kitchen clean( … and of course counting my efforts of trying to empty my store since the past couple of weeks). I’ve been seeing cornmeal cakes lately on blogs, and so when i saw some bulgur wheat in my store i wondered if i could do the same with it ? I was excited in a childish sort of way … i thought maybe i’m the first one to try it … but perhaps not. Either ways i had to make it sever since i thought of it, so i got on it. I used olive oil instead of butter, used equal amts of flour, tabolueh, sugar n oil, and added some milk assuming the tabolueh will need some liquid to soak up and soften. Added some chopped figs and pinenuts for that middle eastern touch and served it with some grenadine sherbet. The cake was nice n moist, the fig added a wonderful sweetness in every bite, and the nuts the earthy nutty flavour. And hey – its even healthy !!! Everything about it was wonderful, but i would change one thing the next time i make it. I was hoping the tabolueh would soften totally in the baking process but i didn’t. This one had a slight bite to it. It may work for some of you, as i know the people whom i shared it with, loved it and wanted the recipe right away. But if u like it softer in texture then i recommend soaking the tabolueh in hot milk for 5-7 mins, u don’t want it totally soft as it will further soften while baking.Then add it to the cake batter.Here is the recipe for what i call my Middle Eastern Stunt.
- 200gms olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 200gms golden caster sugar
- 200gms small bulgur wheat/tabolueh, soaked in 100 ml hot milk
- 200gms flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 100ml semi skimmed milk
- handful of chopped dried figs
- 6-7 dried figs sliced
- handful of lightly toasted pinenuts
Start with preheating your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Soak the tabolueh in some hot milk for 5-7 mins, just till it softens half way.Drain out the excess milk if there is some. Don’t want to make it too soft or u’ll have mush in the cake, and we are looking for a wonderful firm bite-able texture. Leaving the last two ingredients mix everything else in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Mix well and let it rest for about 5 mins and the pour into a cake tin. Evenly sprinkle the fig slices and pinenuts all over the top and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 40 mins or till knife come out clean. This will definately vary as my oven is kinda conked to watch your cake and check it after 30 mins.
And as i go, i would like to leave you with the wonderful produce fro m my very own garden. Mulberries (which by the way are very few) , local Ghanian tomatoes which are very juicy an full of flavour, french beans and the local Ghanian habanero chilli – peppe,which are still very tiny.
These are some of the things i’m growing along with all the other wonderful veggies and herbs i’ve already shared with you here and here. The chinese cabbage and okra are still not ready, for me to take pictures and share. But i managed to pluck off some french beans for this salad and of course my already famous red radishes. Fortunately my guard and his family are staying in this house and will watch and take care of my garden till i come back.
This is a wonderful salad,very filling and a meal in itself. I usually use more of yogurt instead of mayonnaise as its lighter, less fattening and the potatoes tend to soak it all up. Boil potatoes in salted water till soft, boil the french beans for 3-4 mins and plunge in cold water, thinly slice the red radish, slice some spring onion, and wash some corriander and set aside. For the dressing u’ll need one tsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, lots of freshly ground black pepper, salt n olive oil. Toss the potatoes and beans in the dressing, add the radishes and spring onion and garnish with the corriander.
Thought i’d take a little time out from all the running around, to enjoy the outdoors before i head back. We don’t really get this much space anywhere else. So i made myself a little picnic basket and had my lunch in style in the garden. And now i sit writing this post, kinda sad and taking your leave, promising to get back soon. Will try and put up pictures from Bombay. Ciao !!!