Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

Vegan + Glutenfree Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf
 Semolina/ rava/ farina/ suji cakes have been around since quite sometime now and their uniqueness lies in their easy in making along with a distinct texture that no other type of flour can provide.

Semolina is widely used across the Indian Subcontinent as well as Middle Eastern countries mostly to prepare puddings and fudges or to coat something before it hits the fryer.

Oddly enough though the west has always used refined flour in cake making, the East has in its own humble, rustic homely way to make cakes with this beautiful ingredient.

From the Middle Eastern Basbousa, to our Parsi Kumas, both cakes, both superior in taste and texture ,use semolina as their core ingredient.

Now most semolina cakes are made sans any eggs and with fresh yogurt instead, but on a trip to our weekly farmers market, I found the most cheery hued, fresh red pumpkin that I'd ever laid eyes on and when a fresh ingredient calls my name, I cannot resist purchasing it. So I brought it home and thought of making a pumpkin cake with it. However the caveat along with not using any refined flour was to eliminate refined sugar and also experiment with a new type of flour, something other than the usual whole wheat or millet flours (both of which I baked umpteen times with). So a flash of a thought took me back to these traditional rava/ suji cakes that our fore mothers have been baking since ages and I instantly decided to make a semolina cake with pumpkin.

Interestingly the end result was firstly moist, delicious and also vegan, which means its great if someones lactose intolerant too.

Read on to know how to make this Loaf Cake and also the Notes for some tips and tricks.

To make a pound 

You will need:

Red Pumpkin - 185 grams (1 cup)
Semolina/ Rava/ Suji - 200 grams (1 cup)
Jaggery powder - 75 grams (5 tablespoons)
Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon
Oil (flavourless) - 4 tablespoons
Salt - a pinch
Baking powder -1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Vinegar (either white/ malt or ACV) - 1+1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml)
Almonds or walnuts or pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips - 25 grams, to garnish

Clean, peel and cube the pumpkin, then pressure cook in just enough water to about cover the top of the cubes.

Allow to cook for 3 whistles and switch off the flame.

Allow the cooker to cool down, then remove the boiled pumpkin and discard the water.

Blitz the pumpkin along with the jaggery powder in a blender to get a smooth puree.

In another bowl mix together the semolina with cocoa powder along with a pinch of salt.

To this dry mix, add in the prepared pumpkin and jaggery puree.

Now add in the oil and mix well.

Allow this batter to stand for at least 30 to 40 minutes, so that the semolina can absorb the liquids and puff up well. (This is compulsory, else you will end up with a dry cake).

After the semolina is nicely bloomed, add in the vinegar along with the baking powder and baking soda and mix well to incorporate evenly throughput the batter.

Pour into a lined and greased baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180° Celcius for 25 - 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


- Even though I've used a lot of pumpkin puree in this recipe, the cocoa completely masks its flavour.

- If you would like a pronounced pumpkin flavour, omit the cocoa powder and make plain pumpkin loaf instead, add in 1/4 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a tiny pinch of clove powders. They will help in bringing out the true pumpkin flavour.

- This loaf isn't too sweet, but just right in my opinion, this is because inspite of keeping the amount of jaggery low, the pumpkin I used itself was so fresh that it had its own sweet flavour and aroma.

- Feel free to top the cake with any nuts, seeds or other garnishes of choice.

- If you are okay with dairy products, you can substitute plain yogurt for pumpkin puree and ghee (clarified)  or melted butter for oil in equal quantities.

- Cold pressed coconut oil can be used in place of vegetable oil as it doesn't have a strong odor or flavour.


Search This Blog

Meat'less' balls in Marinara (made with millets and sprouts)

Meat'less' Balls in Marinara A wise friend once told me, that to move a step ahead you sometimes need take two steps behind, Ev...