Friday, July 10, 2015

Karkala Cake with Chikku

Karkala, the Jain temple town in Udupi district, 56 Kms from Mangaluru, is famous for the monolith Bahubali statue and Jain delicacies like Katta Mandige and Menasina Gatti. It is also famous for some unusual GSB culinary treats, be it the 'Pejje Polo' the thick crisp dosa or the sweet dish 'Karkala Cake'. This Karkala Cake is not found in many places.

Perhaps they call it cake, because whole wheat flour is added to it unlike semolina in sheera or Kesari Bhaat. Though I had heard about it since many years and also seen in pictures what it looked like, I could not find it anywhere in Mangaluru. The main reason could be, that hoteliers or caterers are touchy about making the lack lustre, dark looking sweet dish which many may not like. Finally I got a chance to taste it for the very first time some months ago, thanks to my relative Sujir Balakrishna Nayak, who arranged it for a ceremony at his home. It tasted delicious, and I decided to make it myself, at home.

We had over a Kilo of ripe sapota/chikku in the fridge, and we had to go on a trip for 2 days out of Mangaluru. My worry then was how to finish all those sapotas before we left! Then an idea came to my mind, that I can make Karkala cake adding sapota. Sapota or chikku is a delicious fruit which has an alcoholic smell that blends well with almonds. Chikku Almond Ice Cream at Ideals is one of the most cherished ice creams that I have relished. Thus, I thought chikku almond combination can also be adapted in sweet dish like cake apart from ice cream.

So I made Karkala Cake adding chikku in a large quantity and also took sample for my sister and my niece in Shivamogga. I did not make it too dark in appearance, since a lighter shade looks more presentable and acceptable to the younger generation, who may reject it otherwise, saying it is charred. You can make it slightly darker to resemble exactly the authentic Karkala Cake, by frying the cake for a longer time after adding sugar. You must taste it to believe that this is a delicacy!

Wheat Flour- 2 cups
Sapota(Chikku) - 250 Gms
Ghee(Clarified butter)- 120Ml
Sugar- 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 cup
Hot Milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups
Green Cardamom - 6 pods
Raisins - A handful
Almonds - 10-15

Blanch almonds in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes, peel and sliver them.
Wash and deseed sapota.
Scoop out the flesh with the help of a spoon and lightly mash the pulp.
Peel cardamoms and crush the seeds.
Boil water and keep simmered.
Heat little ghee in a thick bottomed pan and lightly roast half of the blanched almond and keep aside.
Add remaining ghee and roast wheat flour continuously on medium flame until dark brown, and a nice aroma emanates.
Add the mashed sapota, hot milk and jaggery.
Now add boiling water, raw blanched almonds and mix gently.
Allow to sizzle and swell up.
As the mass begins to dry up, add sugar and mix well.
Keep mixing for 3-5 minutes until ghee leaves the sides.
Switch off the flame, add cardamom powder, garnish with roasted blanched almonds and raisins.
Mix and make lemon size cake balls or scoop and serve hot.


Neena said...

how long we can keep this

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

We have kept it in the fridge for a week without getting spoiled.


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