Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kulhiboakibaa ( Savory Tuna Cake)

Today I have a local favorite  Boakibaa!!  While you are struggling to pronounce it  , let me just simply say its savory tuna cake. No!, before you make a face ,  its not got butter and eggs! Its not your regular cake with tuna in it! This is  to a request made by anonymous reader (dont know why they have to go anonymous anyway) in my previous post, I was saving it for a rainy day.... and my dream cookbook lol.

Boakiba is my mum's go to recipe when she is going to have company or if someone is coming home from somewhere or on special occasion , usually Eid days. In the old days, when she didn't have the regular oven she would bake this in a wood fire stove ( the wood mainly being dried  coconut palm tree leaves and dried coconut shells. To cook the top she would transfer some of the burning coconut shells on top of the covered tin.  The taste is more smokey and tastier when cooked this way  but now a days its usually cooked in your regular ovens. 

Recipe : Boakibaa:, Savory Tuna Cake

2 small onions or 1 large onion, sliced finely into half moons
Juice of 2 limes
½ - 1 scotch bonnet or 3-4 red or green finger length chillies, finely sliced
8-10 curry leaves, sliced finely
A small piece ginger, 1”, grated
 3 (185g x 3) canned tuna, drained
½ tsp turmeric
1 cup (125g) rice
1/3 cup (50g) fresh coconut, finely grated
¾ cup water (approximate)

1. Preheat oven, about 220 degree Celsius. Oil and lay a piece of baking paper at the bottom of a  baking  tray 10 inch  ( 6 cup capacity) round baking tray. This is just to ensure the cake comes off easily, if you don’t have any baking paper at hand, rub a generous amount of oil.

2. Soak your rice in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, then grind with just a tablespoon of water. Not too coarse, and not too fine either. Set aside.

3. Place onion slices in a mixing bowl, add salt and lime juice. Using your fingers, scrunch the onions well till they go soft and release their juices.

 4. Add chillies, curry leaves and ginger and mince again. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the chillies.

5. Once everything is mixed add the fish and mix well till you get a nice  finely crumbled up fish mixture. Add turmeric.

6. Add ground rice and coconut. Mix everything well. Taste, add more salt or lime juice if needed.
Add water a little at a time and mix well, you should have a nice wet mixture, if  it’s still dry add a little more water.

 7. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tray, level it well. Wet your hands with water and pat the top to level it.

8. Bake for about 1- 1 ½ hours,  this depends on the thickness of your cake, start checking  after an hour.Bake till reddish brown on top, the sides are starting to come off the tin, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove and let it cool in the tin.

9. Run a knife around the sides of the cake and then carefully invert it onto a wire rack or  cutting board. Remove the baking paper if using.
Cut into squares and serve.

Serve as a tea time snack, with a nice hot cup of tea.

Now if you are living in Maldives, you can by ready  coarse ground rice , I prefer grinding my own,but if you are going to use the ready made ones you might need to add a little more water 


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  2. What particular, really tasty and inviting !! :-D

  3. This is such an interesting savory tuna cake...rice and coconut...sounds delicious Nammi!
    have a great week :)

  4. Hi Nammi,

    I must admit that I struggle to pronounce "boakibaa" too... I think I will stay quiet and virtually enjoy these tuna cake instead. LOL!


  5. I am going to save this up... sounds like a really easy dinner on lazy days! Thank you dear for this post...

  6. What an interesting tuna bake! I love the beautiful turmeric colour here.

  7. This is an interesting savoury cake! Like Zoe, I cannot pronounce the word "boakibaa" too!

  8. Can look at my blog and see prices, and nutritional facts of tuna at different grocery stores.

  9. I am sooooo bad with spicy food! Gah! So yeah, the Scotch Bonet would NOT be included in this recipe for me! LOL!

  10. This looks interesting. We have similar to this in India regional cooking called Handvo. THough it completely veg and is combination of lentils and rice.


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