TAVSALI

Cucumber Cake is called by East Indian Community as Tavsali……. Tavsali gets its name from the Konkani word Tavshe……. Tavshe means cucumber……. Very easy to make, the texture of Tavsali is light, moist and soft……. Cucumber cake is generally made from large and ripe yellow cucumbers.

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INGREDIENTS : 1 large cucumber, 1 cup semolina, 1 cup jaggery, 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut, 4-5 green cardamoms, cashew nuts as needed, coconut oil/ghee.

DIRECTIONS : Wash and peel the yellow cucumber…… Cut into half…… Remove the seeds….. Grate the cucumber…… Don’t discard the cucumber juice…… Keep aside….. In the meantime, roast the semolina till fragrant….. Keep aside…. Powder the cardamoms……. Chop few cashew nuts.

Take a bowl……. Mix roasted semolina, grated cucumber with all its juice, freshly grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom powder and chopped cashew nuts…… Mix well to get a batter of medium consistency without lumps……. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.

Take a container….. Grease with ghee……. Pour the batter…….. Heat some water in the pressure cooker…… Keep the container containing batter in the pressure cooker…….20180427_004229.jpg Cover the container………20180427_004410.jpg Cover pressure cooker with lid…….20180408_115910.jpg Steam for 30-40 mins……. Check whether it is done by inserting a knife….. If the knife comes out clean, then it is done……20180427_004502.jpg Cool the cake a little and take out by inverting the container on a plate……20180427_003736.jpg Decorate with cashew nuts…….20180405_204441.jpg Serve warm…… One can also serve it with some ghee/milk…… Cucumber cake can be served wit thickened milk/condensed milk…..20180427_005006.jpg

One can bake Tavsali instead of steaming it……. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30-45 mins.

NOTE : If yellow cucumber is not available, then one can use regular green cucumbers……. If using green cucumbers, one does not need to remove seeds…… Increase/decrease jaggery according to the sweetness required……. If the consistency of the batter is too thick, one can add a little milk/coconut milk…… On can use steamer or Electric cooker too.

EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY

East Indians are one of the original inhabitants of North Konkan region, particularly Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Thane, Salsette, Chaul, Palghar and Vasai….. According to one school of thought, Christianity was introduced in North Konkan by St.Bartholomew, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, in first century AD……. When Portuguese took over North Konkan in the 16th century, they converted Earlier Christians, Brahmins, Kolis (fishermen), farmers, adivasis and other communities to Roman Catholic Christianity….. Portugal handed over Bombay, as marriage treaty, to the British East India Company in 1661….. Catarina de Bragança, daughter of João IV of Portugal, married Charles II of England and Bombay was handed over as dowry….The British East India Company started recruiting Christians for Railways and Steamships from different parts of Konkan, namely Goa and Mangalore….. Thus, in order to differentiate themselves from the recruited Christians, the Native Christians started calling themselves the Original East Indians after the Company…… Despite Portuguese and to some extent British influences, the community has preserved their pre-Christian Marathi culture…… East Indians speak a dialect of Marathi with borrowed Portuguese words…… Hence East Indian Community cuisine is a mix of many communities coming together.