There is something about this very traditional cake that evokes the best childhood memories for me. This is the cake I grew up on when vanilla and such flavourings were not part of my family's culinary essentials. Cakes would be flavoured purely with powdered cardamom, giving it a sweet and exotic flavour and aroma. No fancy frostings were required, this simple cake would be gleefully devoured with cups of steaming hot sweet chai. I now add a touch of vanilla essence to the cake, just to take it to an extra level, but even without the vanilla, this cake is a STAR!
Always make sure that the butter/margarine, eggs and milk are at room temperature before starting for best results.
Preheat the oven at 180 C
Grease and line a 7x11 baking dish, then grease again over the lining paper and dust it with flour.
Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder three times to ensure the cake is light and airy.
In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar, beat well until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cardamom powder and vanilla essence and beat again, making sure to scrape down the sides in between.
Next add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk. (Start with the flour, then half the milk, then flour again, then the rest of the milk and end with the flour). You can use a mixer here, but keep it on low speed to avoid over mixing the batter which will result in a tough cake. I prefer to use a spatula or wooden spoon for this stage instead of a mixer.
Once done, transfer the batter into your prepared pan, tap it a couple of times on the counter to remove any air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Turn the cake out on a baking tray and allow to cool before slicing. Make sure to brew some good chai/tea to go with this cake! :)