Labour of Loaf


When you say banana and bread together you don’t really think of a cake, but rather, a loaf-like, bread-esque, cake. Not that I’m saying that either cake or bread is healthy, although banana bread for the simple reason that it has fruit in it, just barely conjures up healthy associations.  Like an apple or pumpkin pie, or maybe just as a carrot cake does.

I have successfully perfected the art of baking the best banana bread in North India. Yes, ma’am, you may challenge me to a bakeoff and I shall promptly beat your patootie. I’ve been shocking the staff at home by giving them sinister instructions to the tune of they mustn’t touch the perfectly perfect yellow and green bananas till they are a shade of brutal dark black.

Step 1 – What I love about this darned dessert, is that it uses something as banal as bananas. The best part for me is the part where I get to squish them with my fork. The pudgy, starchy, gloopy, slimy mess I create is better than an hour on my expensive therapist’s couch.

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Step 2 – Adding the warm melted butter, castor sugar, I replace this super refined, super unhealthy sugar with some farmers market jaggery dust, I also take immense pleasure in adding a thumb size piece of ginger, grated, and a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon dust into this bung-it-all-in-labour-of-loaf.

The next steps are fairly standard, a downpour of batter into a greased loaf tin and/or muffin tin and into the blisteringly hot oven, it must be committed. Now, for how long and at what temperature is a good guess, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself.

I usually bake it at 160 degrees Celsius and for 35 to 40 minutes.

4 bananas – for a softer and moist cake, 3 for a cakey cake – mashed with a fork with some firm bits of banana 
3 eggs beaten 
225 gms of castor sugar 
200 gms of butter – melted 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla 
225 gms of flour 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 
1 thumb sized piece of ginger – grated
a small drizzle of oil when you give it the final whisq
7 generous slices 

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You could make them absolutely plain or you could add booze-soaked sultanas, I tried that once and I found that they distracted me from the banana flavour. That’s enough ho-ing and hum-ing from me, go fetch your aprons and whip up this aromatic, banana loaf.

Now here’s a public service note – I insist you read.

Are faith and magic our only solution? All the gods seem to have abandoned us. Under the eyes of the entire world, Syria continues to suffer, beyond repair. While I sit in my microscopic bubble, wondering what can I do about it.

So I teach, teach kindness and gratitude and empathy along with nouns and conjunctions. I tell stories, stories of children and men and women who don’t give up despite the discrimination and hatred they face? What are you doing? saying a prayer? feeling anger and hatred? joining a march or a vigil? making note of who not to vote for? or are you continuing, continuing with your vitriol and your rhetoric? Now, more than ever we need to call on our gods because I feel it is faith and magic that might save the world.

© [Abhik Bhattacherji] and [Seventh Breakfast], [2019]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Abhik Bhattacherji] and [Seventh Breakfast] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


One thought on “Labour of Loaf

  1. It’s been sometime now since we tasted your fab Banana Cakes..and you know what, Faith and Magic can indeed save the World..

    Liked by 1 person

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