It is diwali today. Diwali is a festival of lights when every Indian home is illuminated with diyas, people indulging in mouthful of sweets and bursting crackers. In Kolkata, it is Kali Puja that we celebrate in Diwali, timed a day before the actual diwali takes place in the rest of India. In our childhood, once Durga Pujo was over, we would start counting days for Kali Pujo that would give us another momentous occasion for indulging in festivity and merry-making. There was a grand way Kali Pujo held in the area my childhood best friend resided; so as soon as lighting candles at my home was completed, I would dash to her place staying there full-time, returning home only for sleeping at night. We friends would all gather for pandal hopping in the evening before the fire crackers had begun bursting in full swing. The excitement of travelling from one pandal to another during Kali Pujo amid all the lightings and illumination with fire crackers bursting on and off here and there is one of a kind.
I was planning to light some candles all around my home today in celebration of diwali, but an afterthought reminded me of the danger involved in putting burning candles in a wooden structure with floors covered entirely in carpet. So instead of too many, I would place two burning candles upon the centre table to illuminate my home. Not a bad idea given the constraints!!
The following recipe is of a simple pound cake that I have glazed with honey, decorating the top with fruits. Besides chocolate cakes, my all-time favourites are such simple pound cakes that are friendly for consumption at any given occasion.
Ingredients: Time: 1 1/2 hours approx.
ü 3 cups self-rising flour
ü 4 eggs
ü 1/2 cups of milk
ü 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
ü 1 3/4 cups of sugar
ü Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
ü 3 tbsp of honey
ü Sliced candied fruits or sliced fruits dipped in light syrup
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Grease a spring form round cake pan with butter.
2) Beat eggs, butter, sugar and lemon rind together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add milk and beat again.
3) Gently fold the wet mixture into the self-rising flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for sharp 1 hour till a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean.
4) Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before taking it on to a wire rack. To make the topping, heat honey for 30 seconds in microwave and brush over the top of the cake. Arrange the fruits on top.