February 23, 2008

Maple Banana Walnut Loaf

I grew up in Madras. It remains my favourite city in India. I can defend it to the last drop of blood I have flowing in my veins, should the need ever arise. Thankfully, I doubt I'd have to. I have so many wonderful memories linked to that wonderful city. I have lived almost all over the country except the East. I have enjoyed living in most cities that I have called home since I left Madras. Delhi/Gurgaon is the only exception. I lived here before and when I left, I almost swore never to come back. I do remember telling my mother that I'd love to come back in 5 years' time as long as I'm making at least three times my (then) salary. Little did I know that my words would come true. I left in 2001 to come back in 2006, married to S. To a place I had never liked calling home. And after about a year and a half here, I still don't. One of the things I realize now is that I keep comparing this place to Madras. So, this time around, since I knew we were here for a fixed period, I decided to focus on the things that I do like, few and far between as they may be.


Most of my childhood memories are linked to Madras. The school I went to. The college where I realized I could be all that I wanted to be, if only I tried. The part time jobs I held that helped partially fund my years at University. The bakery from where my birthday cake arrived promptly, year after year. This bakery was also where where we'd rush after dance classes before catching the IIT bus back home. Adyar Bakery House is one place that I will never be able to forget. Their cookies and puffs were beyond description, but it was their cakes that really took the cake. They don't make much of the stuff they used to. They're probably changing with the times. I loved their walnut cake and tea cake. When I was going through my books to find a nice loaf to bake, I came across this recipe which instantly transported me to Sardar Patel Road in Madras.

I modified the recipe to make this loaf today.


1 cup Flour
3/4 cup Atta(Whole Wheat Flour)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 medium ripe Bananas, mashed
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
3 tbsp Oil
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Milk
1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).

Grease and flour or line a loaf tin.

Combine the flour, wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, mix the mashed bananas, eggs, maple syrup, oil and milk until the mixture comes together. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are mositened. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and bake for 50-55 minutes.

Today happens to be the birthday of one more of my partners in crime since my college days: Mangalam. It is almost amazing to see people call the college I went to the most boring of colleges in Madras. The four girls that I have been closest to over the last decade and a half all happened to be in the same college. And three of them walked into my life right there. I have enough and more memories linked to these friends that have Madras as the backdrop. And sometimes I wonder if I might have had as much fun back then if it wasn't for these girls. So, here's to you Manga. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.


Kalai said...

This looks awesome! So sweet of you to share your memories, Raaga! Have a wonderful weekend. :)

Suganya said...

Happy B'Day to Manga :)... Is this an e-cake?

Chitra said...

Wow! am sure it tastes yummy.
Pl wish Mangalam a very happy birthday from me :)

sudhaswaminathan said...

Hi Raaga,

I am from Madras (yes, I refuse to call it Chennai :-)) and a hard core fan of the city. I enjoyed reading your post. Loved the banana walnut loaf. Keep up the great work.

Madras Vazhga!!!!


Arundati Rao said...

ooooooooo this is the walnut maple banana loaf (did i get the order right??)....supera irruku!! in madras style....though i lived there for less than 6 mths, i love madras....i found myself and found K there too...its that special to me....i love shopping in cotton street and we've stopped by at adyar bakery house on our last trip there....babes!! have a super weekend...and dont forget a slice of that for me....happy b'day to your dear friend....

Sig said...

Love the texture of this cake Raaga... My in-laws live in Madras now, but I have only spent very few days there... hope I will get to explore more next trip... Happy birthday to Mangalam..

remya said...

happy b'day to mangalam....lovely loaf with maple and walnuts...amazing

musical said...

Lovely cake, Raaga! Happy b'day to Mangalam, i am sure she'd really love the sweet present :).

DEEPA said...

Awesome raaga ..You rock ...I am becoming a great fan of our recipe ...

Dhivya said...

looks yummy and delicious raaga..keep rocking...

Srivalli said...

Lovely memories..I too refuse to refer it as chennai...dont worry you have me to help you defend it along with you...yummy looking time you come down here...better bake this for me..of course eggless one

easycrafts said...

Great job...the loaf looks tempting

Raaga said...

@Kalai: There are triggers at times... and the recipe I found was one such :-)

@Sugs: e-cake all right... I don't think couriers accept cakes across metros now :-)

@Chitra: I'll let her know :-)

Raaga said...

@Sudha: Thanks for dropping by... I sometimes call it Chennai because of work and all, but Madras it is :-)

@Arundati: Healthy a kooda irukku :-) Great to know of your Madras connection!!

Raaga said...

@Sig: Let's plan our next Madras trip together... we'll then paint the town red :-)

@Remya: Thanks

@Musical: Uska naam leke hum to khush hain!!

@Deepa: Like you're startong a fan club... how did the buns turn out?

Raaga said...

@Dhivya: Thanks :-)

@Valli: Thanks for the support girl... that city rocks!

@Easycrafts: Thanks

Aaarti said...


Nice.. i had something like this while in bby,... was yummy.. have made walnut cake, but shall try this recipe too~~~ :D

Wish mangalam happy bday from me too... :) hows her baby???

Bharathy said...

Nice to read abt your nostalgic story relating to Chennai..:)..One of my favourite places & end up visiting at least thrice a year!..Lovely cake there..Love anything with a banana touch!Banana walnut seems to be a super combo too :)
Really amazed to note that Arundathi and you have the same name blog Random thoughts!!!

Uma said...

Looks so yummy! My happy b'day wishes to your friend!

MGM said...

Hey! a rather late response ..sorry! But thanks for baking this for luks really yummy...hmmmm...only its miles away ... :(
Thanks to all you gals for your wishes....!!!
thanks dee for making my bday this special...!
and yeah...madras ROCKS !!!

Miri said...

It took me sometime to get used to Madras after being a born and brought up Bombay girl - but I did get used to it and came to like my life there - however different from bombay it was, not to mention far away from all my dear friends I had left behind and so different in attitude (it took my neighbours about 2 years before they stopped closing the door when we opened ours and another year to deem us ok to speak to!).
Just as we finally settled down, had our own circle of new friends, and bought a house after 10 years (right behind your fav Adyar bakery btw!) we had to move.... to Delhi! The one place both of us didnt ever want to move.
Never say never I guess - here we are....and I try to find all the good things I can about living here. Till I can go back to good ol' Madras! :)

Happy cook said...

Cake looks so delicious

Vcuisine said...

Nice post and wholesome loaf Raaga. Viji