As we are gradually slipping into the spiritual mood of Maha Shivratree, the country prepares itself to host one of the most important annual pilgrimage with people flocking to Ganga Talao in thousands. Many of them complete the trip to the sacred lake on foot as it was done decades ago by priests who first discovered this serene location nested within the confines of a volcanic crater. The place has preserved its sanctity which seems more pronounced on the pious occasion of Shivratree, the Holy Night of Lord Shiva. Several socio-cultural and non governmental organizations have engaged themselves in the planning of this event requires the mobilization of a large amount of resources and volunteers.

Like for every religious festival, offerings abound and fruit like coconuts, bananas, apples and oranges are among the most common to be presented to deities. Since I always tend to accumulate more than one coconut in the freezer during this period, I find the best way of dealing with them is to grate the flesh finely and roast it under low heat until dry and fragrant. This homemade desiccated coconut keeps for weeks and lends a delicious aroma to cakes and cookies which call for extra flavour. The whole wheat coconut cake from Kurry Leaves, which I turned into mini muffins, is proof that cakes can be just as delicious if you have to bake them without eggs.



1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup toasted coconut

1 cup light muscovado sugar

1 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan with baking spray, line with paper cups.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, toasted coconut and sugar.

  • In another bowl, mix coconut milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and vinegar together and pour into dry ingredients.

  • Mix gently with a wooden spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Whole wheat Coconut Muffins