Recipes | Whole-wheat Bread & Mini Date Ring-Cakes – Travel to Reconnect with our Roots
Stop. Take a deep breath. And walk, fly or catch a train away from the city and into a world where the average pace of life is slower than slow. “It is not down in any map, true places never are” ~Herman Melville.
Five years of Food blogging has completely changed the way I thought my life will take me few years back. Life now, is fast paced and hectic than ever. And so are my endless ‘to-do‘ lists and ever growing goals year after year.
Though getting engaged in some creative work or the other makes me happier, but at times I do miss my evening leisure-walks on terrace and relaxing in my balcony with a cup of tea.
I was feeling the work-pressure creeping on me for quite some time, making me unfocused.
Yes, its time to slow down the pace of life, forget cell phones, turn off the computer and disconnect with online media to get more focused and to enjoy the small moments in life.
And that is what exactly we did, during the year end winter holidays. As always, this vacation was also unplanned and we could not book tickets for our trip on time.
That is when hubby suggested we drive down ourselves and explore something different this vacation.
A close family friend of hubby who hails from Kanadukathan suggested we make a trip to this lesser known town of South India.
He also ensured that the rich heritage of Chettinadu palaces, simplicity of rural villages and many ancient temples surrounding the town will mesmerize us.
“Not a bad idea, after-all travel to rural places could be a great way to reconnect with our roots.” I put forward my views to my hubby, who was all ears and nodded back with a positive smile.
So, with the strong urge to reconnect with history and to explore the hidden treasures of South India we started our trip on a weekend.
I was slightly skeptical when we planned for this trip, as to how my children would like it.
But to our surprise they thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip.
And as we planned to take our car, we had the luxury of traveling at our own pace and I stocked as much as edibles as I could, much to the chagrin of my hubby.
I was completely floored by these decade old palatial mansions and the intricate art work done in most of the individual houses of Chettiars, a business community from South India. Most of which now wear a deserted look with their inmates moving to other cities for better livelihood.
I baked a wholewheat banana bread, 20 Oats granola bars and some mini Date ring cakes for the trip. I wrapped the loaf in aluminum foil and served the slices with homemade plum preserve.
1. Wholewheat Banana Qucik Bread
Ingredients; (makes one large loaf )
- 1 cups whole wheat flour
- 11/2 cups mashed banana
- 1/2 cup Oats
- 1/3 cup Orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- A pinch of salt
Method; Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a bread loaf with oil. Combine wheat flour, quick cooking Oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix well.
In another bowl add mashed banana, oil, honey, milk, cider vinegar, orange juice (I used sweet lime juice) and combine well.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in it. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter in the greased baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes or till done.
Take out the baking tray and let it cool slightly. Invert the loaf on a board and slice it thinly.
Serve the wholewheat banana loaf with butter or any fruit preserve.
2. Mini Chocolaty Date Ring-Cakes
Ingredients; (makes 10-12 mini ring-cakes)
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- 20 Dates
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
Method; preheat oven at 180°C and grease mini donut moulds or pans. Remove seeds from all the dates.
Bring milk to boil and soak de-seeded Dates in it for 10 minutes.
Blend milk, soaked Dates and sugar to make a smooth puree.
Combine flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of flour mix and pour the Date puree in it.
Gently fold in all the ingredients to mix with a spatula. Pour the batter in the mini donuts moulds and bake for 15-20 minutes or till done. Notes;
- The whole-wheat bread is a quick bread as it does not use yeast as the leavening agent and needs no standing time for proofing.
- You can replace honey with sugar in the bread if you wish. Just make sure you add a few spoons of liquid (milk/water) for right consistency.
- Use good quality Dates (khajoor) which are juicy and soft for making the mini ring cakes.
- The same batter of Date mini cakes can be used to bake cake or muffins.
The responsibility to preserve and maintain the treasures from the past lies on our shoulders. The inherent beauty of these villages and simplicity of rural life is one of the most valuable assets that we can gift to our children.
Travelling to rural places is a great way to reconnect with your roots. Hope the rich cultural heritage of India remains intact in times to come.
If you are in a mood to explore offbeat rural destinations of India, check out the following posts on my other blog;
- Tiruchirappalli – A strong urge to reconnect with history
- Kanadukathan – Where art, architecture and crafts meet
- Pudukkottai – Getting immersed in the rich cultural heritage of rural India