Plum Spoon Cake in the Pakistani Manner


Here it is – the recipe I promised all of you over on my Instagram page, for your Canadian Thanksgiving table this weekend – my Plum Spoon Cake. This cake is moist and reminds me of a steamed pudding; you’ll want to eat this straight out of the oven with some vanilla bean ice cream, or dollops of crème fraîche.

We have had some gorgeous Italian plums in the farmers’ markets this year, so I wanted to create a warm dessert with these sweet and tart gems. I got the idea from Dana Wootton, a California-based cook I greatly admire – she recently made a blueberry dessert, which was based on melting butter in the pan and then pouring a simple batter on top of blueberries before baking them. That’s the sort of dessert I want to have in my repertoire, I said to myself. So off I went, with Italian plums in tow.

I had just bought some almond flour (for this recipe, I used unblanched almond flour – you’ll recall I used blanched almond flour for my Rose Ring Cake), and coconut sugar, so that’s what I decided to use as the basis for this recipe. Coconut sugar is lovely for baking, as it gives cakes a subtle burnt caramel flavour – and the fragrance  pairs beautifully with cardamom, which all of you know, for a Pakistani like myself, is the equivalent of vanilla in cakes.

You will have to halve the plums, but other than that, there isn’t much work to be done. I hope all of you enjoy making this dessert this long weekend.


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

You will need a 23cm/9-inch pie dish

*10-12 Italian plums
*50g unsalted butter
*120g coconut sugar
*75g almond flour (made with unblanched almonds)
*50g all-purpose flour
*1 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp cardamom powder
*generous pinch of sea salt
*2 eggs
*230ml full-fat milk (a little less than a cup)
*Icing sugar
*Almond flakes

*Preheat oven to 180C.
*Slice 10-12 purple plums lengthwise, into halves. Discard seeds. Set aside.
*Place butter in the pie dish. Heat in oven until butter melts and starts to bubble, about 10-12 minutes.
*Remove from oven; arrange the plum slices, cut side facing down, in a circular pattern. Start from the outside, working your way into the dish, (be careful not to touch the hot butter with your fingers).
*In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients (coconut sugar, almond meal, flour, baking powder, cardamom powder and salt) together. Use a wooden spoon to gently create a well in the bowl.
*Whisk together the eggs and milk in a separate bowl.
*Pour the wet mixture (eggs and milk) into the well. Slowly start to mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix till combined and a smooth batter is formed.
*Pour the batter over the plums, do not stir or touch. Place in the oven for 35 minutes.
*Adorn with a dusting of icing sugar and almond flakes.
*Enjoy warm, with ice-cream, or crème fraîche.

My Globe and Mail Article – Naomi Duguid’s Taste of Persia

Hello, everyone. Wishing you all a Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Lots of new things are happening in the Spice Spoon kitchen – there will be some easy and new recipes up on the blog soon.

I recently wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail on Naomi Duguid and her new book, ‘Taste of Persia’. I had the honour to cook and eat with Naomi Duguid, while we talked about her travels through this fascinating region of the world, and the people she met along the way. I have a personal interest in this region, not only because of my Persian roots, but also because my father was posted to Armenia (for the World Bank), and I visited him there a few times. I have nothing but beautiful memories of my time in that region of the world. I hope to go back one day, but for now, Naomi’s book is feeding my nostalgia.

Here is the link to the article. Thank you for reading it – it’s a long read!


I also tested a few recipes from ‘Taste of Persia’; here are the ‘Stuffed Vegetables’ I made. Since tomatoes are quite tender to start with (compared to the the bell pepper, zucchini or aubergine – which Naomi suggests we use in the recipe), I only added a little bit of boiling water to the bottom of my pan; you won’t need much. We still have tomatoes in the markets (they’re disappearing fast) – so make this dish as quickly as you can! The stuffed tomatoes are gorgeous with some strained yoghurt and fresh herbs.


I have the put the steps to this recipe up on my Instagram Stories – it’s only up for 24 hours, so you’ll have to have a look fairly soon. Have any of you been using Instagram Stories? I love using it to share recipes with all of you. Catch me there, and thank you for visiting! (You can find the recipe here.)




Rose Ring Cake

Rosewater Cake

Many of you have asked for the recipe of the cake I made in my workshop at A Taste of Persia Festival this weekend. The recipe first appeared in The Globe and Mail on December 1, 2015. (The recipes in the Globe are always in Imperial units; i.e., cups). Here is the link to the piece I wrote. The recipe is below.

Rose Ring Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 medium eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp rosewater
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8-cup ring or bundt pan.

In the bowl of a food mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in colour and slightly increased in volume, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, beating each addition until fully incorporated.

Alternate dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, sea salt) and wet ingredients (buttermilk and rosewater) into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until well combined or finish gently by hand.

Transfer batter to pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Oven temperatures can vary, so check with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

Invert from pan once cake has cooled. Dust with icing sugar and adorn with rose petals.

Spice Spoon at A Taste of Persia Festival


Hello, everyone. This weekend, on Saturday, I will be at A Taste of Persia Festival, in partnership with the City of Toronto and Aga Khan Museum. It has been organized by the Culinary Historians of Canada and I am really looking forward to seeing many of your familiar faces there. I’ll be speaking about my memories of my paternal grandmother and how it ties me to Persian food and I will also be conducting a workshop, making my Rose Ring Cake. See you all there. The full programme link is here.


Rosewater Cake