Army life lends you a certain madness – it takes various forms. To me it gave fearlessness and a deep sense of living. I am not scared of anything. Being born to a Colonel does have its perks. We pretty much had a banjara existence. Posted in far flung places the names of which you wouldn’t have heard of – Unchibassi 😀 right ?
Unchibassi is the richest Army Unit. We used to have an Olympic size swimming pool way back in 1980’s, a Movie theater, a Cola factory etc…& a Bakery – where mum used to take atta, oil, part-sugar-part-jaggery, roasted jeera to get biscuits baked – we made TONs of them.
I was in the 4th grade and the seed was sowed. She is a classical Kathak dancer and dances till date, Dad is a sportsman, body builder and a Homeopath along with being a Colonel- both the parents have a heavy bent towards great health & eating right.
Fast forward to pregnancy and my daughter Aanyaa being born – both the incidences showed me there was nothing off the shelf in the market that I could eat or feed which was healthy. As a child I would bake cos I loved cakes. Unchibassi had generators so baking was a breeze, but Allahabad OD fort – Akbar’s Kila (where we subsequently moved) didn’t have any. I would pray while making the batter and putting it in the oven. A habit which didn’t leave me- hence the name Taantraa // Organic Handbaking . The light did go inspite of all the praying. Necessity is the mother of all inventions and how ! I would ruuuuuunnnnnn and get sand, put the Tava on the stoves high flame, pour the sand on it, add a Huge aluminium container on it, put a plate in it and cover it to preheat 😉 My fearless logical mind just knew it will work. No one had taught me this. Once the pot was hot enough I would put in the cake mold and let it bake with the lid on high flame first for sometime and then later on slow flame.
I remember the texture of the cake, the crazy Khusboo, Everything about the cake was special. I learnt that day if you pour your heart into something, it never lets you down ♥
It was my best cake ever !
I turned to completely Vegan baking overnight. Must tell you – I am a self taught baker with no formal training at all. I was going for an event called “Second to None” and a beautiful soul pinged me on FB saying would you be getting anything for me ! plssssssss. It was 10pm already and I said yes I will! Cos I am in the market for those souls who do not get the things they need off the shelf. So I ran out to buy what I needed and came back and baked and took it with me. She loved it and I knew I could bake without animal products like eggs & dairy and that took care of a lot of Karmas.
For a Naturalist Baker with a heavy bent towards beauty, this has been a tough journey for me. I was able to break out of the browness slowly but steadily. We have fantastic bakers here so finding an easy recipe is not a problem. We also have google for help – but making stunning presentation staying within the realms of Nature is difficult.
The pictures have been taken with an iphone camera with serious limitations. The muffins are made with jowar, bajra, ragi, sprouted wheat, wheat & oats. For sweetener I have used jaggery, water, oil , rock salt, some spices as the main ingredients. Have used chocolate sauce made with jaggery on top.
DIY steps for the Taantraa Muffin Tree ♥
*I bought some gorgeous lace from a local vendor for Bangalorians – From Ramdev in Tippsandra
*10 different colors 3 meters each in length*Glued the muffin paper onto the Aluminium muffin mold from outside and glued the lace from it’s base.
*Arranged all the 10 muffins in various lengths to give a well balanced look.
*Once all the muffin molds were hanging well I put the Chocolate Oats muffins in the molds.
*Two years back I’d also made mini version of these laces with the same sized muffins and called them flying muffins.
*You could also use this tree for all the festivities that are just round the corner and celebrate with the beauty of natural goodness.
P.S Once the muffins are in the mold pls don’t try to rearrange them as they might fall off 😉
Some tips for Vegan baking that I have learnt over the years are shared below:
1.Apple cider vinegar is the magick potion. Apart from being a girl’s Best Friend it helps to bake amazing cakes.
2.1 tbsp of Flax seed with
3 tbsp of hot water is equivalent to 1 egg in all recipes.
3. Apple sauce works wonders in baking.4. You can substitute Anything and everything to suit your requirement with the stuff readily available at home.
5. Our body is sacred – we have to treat it like a temple. As you would never throw garbage in a temple likewise you should never throw junk into your body.
PS: I am dedicating my post to all the amazing out-of-the-box-thinkers and bakers out there – you keep the tradition of eating and living healthy, alive, even in today’s crazy world ♥
Thank you so much all you wonderful souls for giving me this space and time. Loads of love and mystickal blessings ♥
The Taantraa DIY Muffin Tree ♥ ♥ ♥
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Had written this piece for Home Bakers Guild‘s Masterchef Monday series so wanted to share the love here too ♥