Some tastes are impossible to erase from memory, and one such flavor for me is that of a Mawa Cake, a milk-based, cardamom-scented delicacy I ate growing up in Bombay’s delicious Irani restaurants. My vegan version is eggless and dairy-free, of course, but it’s so close to the real thing, you’d never know.
I have for you today a cake that’s incredibly close to my heart–and perhaps loved by anyone who ever stepped into one of Bombay’s quaint but disappearing Irani restaurants. A vegan Mawa Cake.
A Mawa Cake is a soft, tender and delicious cardamom-scented cake with a texture not unlike that of a pound cake, except perhaps a little denser. That texture, as important to the uniqueness of this cake as its unforgettable flavor and richness, comes from the use of mawa, a reduction of milk.
Mawa is used in lots of Indian sweets, which tend to be milky and very sweet and cardamom-scented, and the story goes that the Mawa Cake was created in the kitchens of Merwan’s, one of the city’s most legendary Irani cafes, using ingredients you’d find in most Indian sweets.