Thursday 26 January 2012

The Tricolour

The 2010 Republic Day was a historic one for iGATE, Noida. A Hindi kavi sammelan was organised by the HR, in the highly anglicized corporate environment.

Despite reluctance & asides from his team, Ashish Kumar successfully enthused employees & the latent poets emerged that evening in all their glory. Surprising, considering how English has become the backbone of the Indian society & anybody speaking the National language is almost looked down upon with derision!

I admire Ashish for his intensity of purpose. To uphold a cause that is noble is one thing. Most intelligent people do it. To do so despite opposition is the domain of the brave. To hold on to your beliefs when the dissent is internal & go forth & make a success of it, is the mark of the fearless. 

Ashish is fearless. In an age when most around him discuss English music & English films, Ashish writes Hindi poetry & discusses philosophy. He never badmouths his boss & never takes the bait when people egg him on. In a metro that is fast losing its ethos, Ashish is one rock-solid dependable guy. He will never say what he does not mean & when he says it, will keep his word no matter what. He can safely be conferred the epithet of The Wall. Anyway, some cruel Fb users want to rob Jammy of the honour saying 'there is a hole in it!'

The 2012 Republic Day special cake is dedicated to Ashish Kumar. And to all those bravehearts who walk the talk. 

This will take you about an hour to make, preparation & baking included. [And if you make it well, it will finish in those 60 mins too! Trust me, I talk from experience!]

For the last 3 times, I've gone all healthy. I make aata cakes, not maida. They turn out as delicious as the maida ones & make you feel less sinful :)

Here are the Ingredients I used today [the steel bowl you see in the pic is my measure]
1. 2 cups aata
2. 3 eggs
3. 1.5 bowl sugar
4. 3/4 bowl white oil + 3/4 bowl butter
5. Condensed milk(optional)
6. 3/4 spoon baking powder
7. 1/2 spoon vanilla essence
8. Green & Saffron food colours
9. 1/2 bowl Milk

I used a hand blender & a jar to blend the ingredients in.
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C. While it is heating, prepare the batter. As the oven switches off in ten minutes, you are ready with the cake mixture! Time is money, people :)
Step 1:Grind the sugar to a fine powder
Step 2:Add the oil & blend for a minute or two.
Step 3: Blend the butter into the mixture.
                                                   Step 4: Whisk the eggs, one at a time.
                    Step 5: This is how the batter looks at this stage. All 3 eggs have gone in now.
                                 Step 6: Add the aata, baking powder & vanilla essence.
Step 7: Add the condensed milk now if you are using it. I did today because I was running out of sugar! Otherwise, skip this & go to Step 8.
                              Step 8: Add the milk to make the batter if you find it too thick.
                                      This is how the aata cake mix looks once blended.
                                       Step 9: Add green colour in 1/3rd of the batter.
  Step 10: By now the oven is pre-heated.
 In a greased tin, pour in the green portion of the mix & put it to bake at 160 degrees C.
     Step 11:As the green layer is baking, add saffron colour to 1/3rd of the batter & keep it aside.
Step 12:In 10 mins when the green layer is a little set, pour in the 1/3rd part of the normal batter.
                      Step 13: After 10 mins, repeat procedure with the saffron batter.
 After 30 mins(or when that heavenly cakey aroma wafts up your nostrils!), switch off the oven & leave the cake inside for 10 mins. Taking out the cake immediately from such high temperature may make it 'sit'.
       Let it cool before you take it out of the tin.Your tricolor cake is ready to savour.           Happy Republic Day, people!
Ashish now works in a different company. I wonder what he organised for the employees this year...

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