Once in a while, I find myself fixated on an ingredient. Not necessarily because “I’m in love” with it. Or maybe because I am. But more often, the reason is that I made a huge batch of it and I need to and want to use it in many, many ways. Like Tahini, for example. I’ve been going nuts making hummus, putting it in this raita with a dash of garlic and lemon juice (instead of red chilli + cumin) and of course this sweet-ish rendition of breakfast. Or like dhaniya-pudina chutney, which doesn’t have a very long life, and must be used quickly by spreading it in sandwiches, in chicken-parantha rolls and served with kababs.
My current fixation is jaggery syrup. I’ve been making ginger-lemon-jaggery tea, using it as a sweetener in home-made iced tea, lemonade and aam panna, drizzling it on my toast for breakfast and putting it in cakes! It has also become a wonderful alternative to maple syrup and honey as French Toast / Pancake/ Waffle toppings. There’s something warm and earthy about the flavour of jaggery — so much more character than plain ol’ white sugar.
I wanted to try out the syrup for a quick and easy cake recipe on the very day that I made the syrup. Rummaging through the contents of the fridge and store cupboard, I found half a jar of orange marmalade. The decision was instantaneous! Orange Marmalade Tea Cake it was.