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Welcome to my revamped cooking blog….I am trying to be more informative and innovative with my posts. Of course its all in preparation for writing my book, I was told by the people who publish them to follow general guidelines and I happen to follow all of them , but there’s always room for improvement !!!!

It now feels like the beginning of summer here in the south. We have had bizarre weather here lately with the cold lasting a lot longer than it usually does…lets face it by now the entire family’s jeans are usually packed up and waiting for October to come out again. One day its so hot , all I want to do is stand in a cold shower and on other days its so windy and cold I feel I am back in the winter !!!! N ended up wearing a jacket b’coz it was in the 30 ‘s the other day !!!! Summer fruits and veggies are slowly finding their way to the market and I am very excited. Fresh berries, all juicy and ripe, red tomatoes on the vine and if I’m lucky some heirloom tomatoes too, corn and the best of all mangoes and pineapple , 2 of my favourite fruits. Lets face it since I cook with a lot of Indian veggies , its not like I only cook with whats in season but when the season does roll around I try and buy the freshest fruits and veggies possible. The other day, I came across some beautiful strawberries at the farmers stand. Now in an impulse I picked up 2 cases and only after I came home I realized that only A and I eat strawberries in their true form !!!!

What to do with the other case………a little bit of research and a bit of experimenting , I came upon the perfect strawberry cake recipe, my second try actually !!!! Its my STRAWBERRY CARDAMOM CAKE . I know its an unusual combo but it tastes great . Trust me , you will fall in love with this one. I came upon this idea after I read a recipe for strawberry shrikhand , a yogurt based desert brought into the modern age with the addition of strawberries and cardamom. So I thought …….why not in a cake !!!!

On a totally different track now……..want to know some random facts about strawberries that I came across while researching recipes. In India , strawberries were first introduced in the late 1800’s by the British and is grown mostly in Mahabaleswar . Its also called “Nature’s Love “ b’coz of its shape !! 80% of the strawberries grown in this country are from California. Thats abt all I remember now…. !

The Recipe

1 cup All Purpose Flour

    ½ cup Sugar

    ½ tbsp Baking Powder

    ½ tsp Salt

    1 tsp Cardamom Powder

    2 eggs

    ¼ cup Butter, at room temperature

    ½ cup Strawberries , pureed

    ¼ cup Milk

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Cream together the butter and sugar till well incorporated . The colour will lighten slightly.

      Now add the eggs, one at a time and beat well.

      Add the strawberry puree , cardamom powder and milk and mix till it turns a light pink.

      Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.

      Line a baking pan with parchment and butter all sides.

      Pour the batter into the pan and bake till a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. It will take anywhere between 20- 30 minutes depending on your oven.

      Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes before slicing.

      Garnish it with sliced strawberries or powdered sugar and serve with a strawberry compote if it pleases you


      Taste Test

      When I made this for the first time , it would not come out from the pan in one piece and ended up a little more crumbly than I liked. The second time around, it turned out exactly the way I envisioned it…..fluffy and moist with just a hint of the floral spice from the cardamom. It is not overly sweet and sweetness of the strawberries is balanced with the peppery aftertaste of the cardamom. It got over the same day with all 3 of the kids asking for seconds !!! I think these would make great cupcakes with some vanilla or strawberry icing. Thats going to be next attempt…..stay tuned !!