Wednesday, September 4, 2013

VeganMoFo Recipe #1 : Indian Savoury Cakes

So when I moved to London three years ago I realised how much I would miss eating home made Indian food. One of them was this Indian sweet and sour sponge cake made from gram flour. It never  occurred to me all these years that Khaman, as it is called in India was in fact a cake! It was only after I started baking in London that I made the connection in my head and decided to treat Khaman-making akin to cake-baking and I was surprised with the results! It is amazing how a little bit of garnishing and change in perspective can change one's outlook and existing notions. Not to mention my Khaman-Cake tasted so much better too!

Khaman is a Gujarati dish, best enjoyed with coriander and mint chutney, a tarka (oil seasoning with mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves) and generous sprinkling of grated coconut. The best Khaman is light as a Victoria Sponge and it is an art to master the recipe at home with freshly ground gram flour. Well at home my mother used to make Khaman from an instant mix that was available at the shops. The best and most easiest of these instant mixes was from a brand called Talod.

Follow the recipe below which is available on Talod's website and also on their instant mix packets.

  • Take the powder in a vessel after removing the packet given inside.
  • Add 2-1/2 cup (360ml) water and prepare a soft paste. Keep this paste aside for 5 minutes.
  • Take the contents of the packet in a half cup (1/2) of water, mix it well and add it to the paste. Immediately stir this paste well and put it on a thali (plate) rinsed with film of oil.
  • Put this thali (plate) to steam for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the thali (plate) and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Now sprinkle a cup of water over it and cut it into pieces.
  • Heat 100 gms. oil, put mustard seeds and green chilli. When hot, pour two cup of water into it,after boiling sprinkle it on ready "Khaman" to season.
  • Sprinkle clean coriander leaves and fresh coconut scrapings for better taste.                                   

You can order your packet of Talod mix here

Original Khaman looks like this when served.

In my cake version I did not cut the steamed cake into cubes but carefully upturned the steamed cake from the thali (plate)

I made four such round sponges of Khaman and used two 200gm packets of Talod's mix to make them. Make sure the sponges have completely cooled down before manhandling them to arrange your layered cake.

The second layer went on top of the first.

The third on top of the second and finally the fourth layer went right on top. You could add a thin layer of grated coconut and/or coriander chutney in between the layers if you wanted to. Finally decorate it chopped coriander leaves and glaze it with the tarka. Serve with a few raw green chillies!

Voila, you're triple layered Indian-gram-flour-sweet-and-sour steamed Victoria sponge is ready to eat! Oh and yes, it is vegan!


  1. Oh wow, this looks so creative and delicious! :)

  2. I always prefer this instant mix and always go for quality food product which I get from Nilons.

  3. Thanks Serene! They taste delicious too! :)