Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eethapazham Kums/ Pola - Dates Sponge Cake (Malabar cuisine)

Hi readers..First of all, wishing all my readers Eid Mubarak..Couldn't post recipe for 3 days, as we are busy celebrating Eid like visiting my parents house in Abudhabi and going to malls etc..We couldn't go outdoors like beach or park as summer is worse in UAE..
In Malabar,traditionally Pola/Kums is slow cooked in a small wide pan or sauce pan not oven..Olden days, a wooden beater called 'manth' is used for beating eggs for cakes..It is definitely a hard work and is a best exercise for hand too :D ...Those days, cakes are baked in a small aluminium pan with lid closed and placed coal on bottom and top...At that time,oven and pressure cooker is not available..Got the information from my mom :)..Now-a-days, electric hand mixer and oven is available which makes our life easier :)..So, pola can be baked either in non-stick wide pan or pressure cooker...
Coming to the recipe, I am posting a recipe of Dates Kums/Dates Pola..Earlier, I shared the recipe of making pola in steamed pudding consistency mentioned here and here..Now, I am sharing a pola in a sponge cake version,which used dates as main ingredient...I got the recipe from my cook book 'Ramadan recipes' by Rasiya Latheef,which I bought from Kerala..We used to make normal sponge cake..but this sponge cake is new to me,I never heard it before...When I read this recipe,I made it right away..I have lots of dates in my pantry and all the recipe mentioned in this book is available in my pantry...I am making this sponge cake in a small non-stick sauce pan, which is slow cooked on a stove top..You can use pressure cooker too, but make sure not to add weight...You can bake it in a oven too, if you desire..Its a tasty cake and definitely healthy too..But be careful for diabetic patient,since this cake contains lots of dates so it is not good for them..Do make this cake and impress your kids and family :)

Recipe Courtesy: Taken from my cookbook,'Ramadan recipes' by Mrs Rasiya Latheef


  • All purpose flour (maida) - 1 cup
  • Butter ( room temperature ) - 3/4 cup ( I used half cup)
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Powdered sugar - 1 cup   ( I used half cup, its not sweet for me.So,don't reduce the sugar)
  • Small eggs ( room temperature) - 3 no.s
  • Dates,seed removed - 3/4 cup
  • Dates,chopped - 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nut/Almond chopped - 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp ( you can use vanilla essence too,but traditionally it is not added)
  • Milk - 1/3 cup for soaking dates + 2 tbsp required for batter ( if needed)
  • Ghee - 1 tsp ( for greasing pan)


  • Soak dates( not chopped ones)in a 1/3 cup of milk for 30 mins...This is done to grind the dates faster and it gives smooth paste, otherwise it is difficult to grind...

  • In a bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly...

  • In a blender, add eggs at high speed till pale...You can beat the eggs with a electric hand mixer too at high speed, in a separate bowl..
  • Add dates along with soaked milk into the egg mixture..

  • In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till creamy by using whisk, wooden spoon or electric hand mixer...

  • Add egg-dates mixture into butter-sugar mixture and beat again till sugar dissolves completely..
  • Add flour mixture alternately 3 times and fold slowly in a clock wise direction at regular intervals with a spatula or wooden spoon till no lumps formed..After adding flour, do not overbeat the batter as cake turns hard after baking and always fold slowly...You can also use electric beater too,but turn the 'mode' to lowest...Scrap the batter the sides too and fold again..

  • Add cardamom powder and beat again..

  • Finally add chopped dates and nuts and fold slowly in a clock wise direction..Do not use electric beater at this time..Use spatula or any large spoon to fold these ones..
  • If the batter becomes too thick, add 2 tablespoon of milk and fold again..
  • Heat a non-stick sauce pan or pressure cooker, add l tsp of ghee and grease all the sides..Its better to place tawa under the saucepan to prevent getting burnt from bottom..If using pressure cooker, do not add weight ( whistle) on top..
  • Pour the batter into the pan,close the lid and cook at a very low flame for about 30 to 40 mins till knife insert into the centre comes out clean..If not increase the flame to medium ( be careful not to get burn at bottom) and cook for 5 more minutes till done...

  • Off the flame and flip the cake into the plate..
  • When slighly cools, cut into desired shapes of your choice..
  • Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee..

  • You can bake it in a oven too..Preheat the oven to 180 degree C and bake for about 30 to 35 mins till done..
  • Leftover cake can be refrigerated and can be kept for 1 week. ( But mine is finished in 3 days itself :D)