The fashion of cake baking at home is spreading mostly in the higher class of Pakistani society: Everyone has a gaz oven (not an electric one) and every woman or girl enjoys food programs channels or the morning shows presenting new cooking styles and new recipes. Thanks to the internet and the social networks, a new world and food concepts are reaching the local families, introducing new flavours, new ingredients and a new way of discovering the whole world through gastronomy.
However, when it comes to big celebrations like weddings, parties, Ramadan, Eid days, the trend is to buy ready-made cakes or any other kind of sweet specialities at the nearest bakery. This is the norm from low to highest social class. In Pakistan, sweet dishes offered on special days are not prepared at home as it is the case in many Arab and Turkish countries where all the women are gathering for the occasion.
Other traditional sweet dishes that you can find everywhere in Pakistan are halwas, kheer (rice with milk), puddings, sweet coloured rice. They are all part of the family culinary tradition all over the country, whereas cakes are basically not part of the local gastronomy: they are the expression of a recent fashion, which came from the West and that people appreciate a lot.
Low and middle classes have not familiarised with the European kinds of oven. They bake bread in a pottery oven with wood and fire, and cook their dishes on normal gaz fire.
The way these people cook tasty cakes without resorting to a modern oven is amazing, we let you judge:
Here are the ingredients. You need no scale, no grams, no measuring, everything is done in the easiest way.
-3 cups of white flour
-3 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 cup milk
-1 cup oil
-1 and an half cup of sugar
– vanilla essence
Whisk the yolks and the eggs whites separately.
Mix the yolks and sugar with a beater till they become white, add flour, baking powder, milk and oil and keep on whisking. Gently add the eggs whites.
Once preheated add the cake mould on the marbles and cover it
Thanks to Ayesha from Peshawar for the recipe and pictures
Text Carole Sahebzadah