Batica also called Baath Cake in Goa, is an unusually textured & delicious cake like no other. Full of fibre and moistness due to the coconut in it. I call it the “healthy cake”. The Western coastal areas of India have a few versions of baked recipes, having just as many names. Often made from the green tender coconuts, when they are not at the right stage of tenderness, which is with lots of water to drink, and the flesh is an unctuous smooth cream. Neither is it mature enough for grating and using it in vegetables and curries. At this stage, we call it “adsar” the coconut meat is about ½ cm thick with a film of light brown on its edges. Adsar is used in making various cake-like recipes that use semolina of fine or coarser grade along with fruits or vegetables & jaggery in it. Mostly eggless vegetarian versions. We had no ovens; the cakes were baked in thick brass pans with their lids on. The dried midribs of the coconut fronds are used as wood to cook on. These cakes are baked within the hot embers. In between the baking time, some embers were scooped and placed on the lids to create even heat from top & bottom. Batica is more refined and unlike other versions, has eggs just like other cakes. It is traditionally baked for Christmas.

1 Tsp=5ml/ 1 Tbsp= 15 ml/ 1 cup =225 ml/ you need a lined & greased baking tin of about 20-23 cm Ø -9 inches


100 g salted butter at room temperature (if using dry desiccated coconut use 125g)
1 ¼ cup/ 225 g caster sugar
3 eggs whisked lightly
1 ¼ cup/ 170 g fresh desiccated coconut- grind with a few tablespoons of milk to a finer texture. (if using dry desiccated coconut, soak in some coconut milk to moisten).
1 tsp each: cardamom powder and vanilla extract
2 tbsp zest of lemon (approx. from 2 lemons)
1 tsp saffron soaked in 2 tbsp hot milk
½ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ cup/ 200g fine semolina- roast it in a wide pan or wok on medium heat, for about 5 mins and remove to plate to cool
20 g each: pistachios & cashew nuts- chopped in halves for decorating the top


1.In a large bowl, mix the butter & sugar till well blended. (the mix will look crumbly)
2.Add the whisked eggs and beat them in to mix.
3.Add the coconut and whisk till the mixture is blended.
4.Now add the cardamom, vanilla, lemon zest, saffron infusion & the baking powder. Mix through.
5.Add half the semolina, use a spatula or spoon to mix it in.
6.Add the other half portion & mix through again.
7.Cover the bowl and let it rest in a cool place or on the top shelf of the fridge ( 2 hours) for the semolina to soak and soften.
8.Bring it out of the fridge and let the batter come to room temperature- about half an hour. In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 160⁰ C/ 320⁰ F
9.Check the batter, it should be of dropping consistency, if dry add milk or coconut milk.
10.Use a parchment-lined & greased baking tin & pour the batter in the tin & smooth the top evenly. Garnish with the nuts on top.
11.Bake for 40-50 mins till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
12.Remove from the oven & allow the cake to cool in the tin.