Shrill calls of a Rufous Treepie pierce the serenity of the autumn morning. The sky is heavy with clouds and the Sun is yet to make an appearance. The bird goes on calling continuously and her shrill notes draw our attention. We spot her in the Jamun tree.
A dove drinking water from the bird bath scurries and flies away to the lower branches of Magnolia tree.
Treepie reaches the bird bath, drinks water to her heart’s content and then dives into the saucer, splashing water around.
It is festive season. Ingredients are being measured to bake a cake. My daughter, helps me in slivering the pistachios for Pistachio Cardamom Cake. We spoon the batter into the pan and lovingly arrange the sliced pistachios on the batter spacing them evenly.
As the cake bakes, a lovely aroma of orange zest and cardamom wafts through. The cake turns out moist, flavourful and delicious. It is very festive in appearance as tiny bits of green pistachios peep out from the soft crumb. It is rich in taste and flavour.
Pistachio Cardamom Cake
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup raw pistachios ground coarsely
5 to 6 green cardamom seeds powdered
1 stick (½ cup) butter
1 cup (scant) sugar, powdered
3 large eggs
½ cup warm milk (not hot)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Finely grated zest of two oranges
5 to 6 pistachios slivered, for topping
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom, grease and dust sides of one 8 inch round cake pan.
Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large. Keep aside.
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla essence and zest, mix well.
Add flour mix in three shifts. Add milk every time you add flour mix. Mix till well combined.
Pour into the prepared pan. Level the top. Sprinkle slivered pistachios evenly on top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, invert onto the rack and cool.
Slice next day (the flavours develop fully). Serve with whipped cream.