(scenes from Richa's kitchen -- note her wooden mashing instrument -- awesome-- and her cute polka-dot oven mits)

A few nights ago, we found ourselves in the kitchen of our downstairs neighbor, Richa. She invited me over to make her mother's famous banana bread. It was gorgeous and the evening was superb -- just two girls baking! I was in ecstasy to assist in making the delicious tea cake, lounge on the couch with the sweet smells wafting from the adorable miniature oven and tuck in to the familiar cake. I felt a little return to my domestic self -- sifting flours, stirring, mashing and poking at a friendly baked good. We are so lucky to have made Richa's acquaintance (not just for her oven), as she is smart, creative (architecture student) with a sensuous laugh.

I wrote down the recipe on a paper bag, Richa knew it by heart . . . and of course, accidentally threw away the bag. So I'm posting Nigella Lawson's recipe because I have made it several times and it is as sublime as Richa's and super close in flavor and texture.

Nigella Lawson's Banana Bread
from her book How to be a Domestic Goddess

makes 1 loaf (9x13" pan)

1/2 cup or more raisins

3 oz (6 TBS) bourbon or rum
1 cup plus 2 TBS all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 oz)

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

Very ripe bananas, mashed about 3 to 4

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

An hour or more before you want to make this, put 1/2 cup (or more if you like it) raisins and the bourbon or rum in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let plump for an hour or more. Drain. When they are ready, preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour loaf pan. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then stir in the walnuts, drained raisins, and vanilla and banana extract. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time to combine. Scrape into the loaf pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, till it tests clean(ish). Cool the pan on a rack and slice to serve.

Delicious with a smidge of cream cheese, peanut butter, nutella (I am an ANIMAL with nutella) or plain is perfect too.


  1. Yum! I'm so glad you found a sweet baking spot!

  2. now i want banana bread! love love your blog.

    ps what kind of camera are you snapping pictures with? is it you or dave?


  3. Yay for friends and ovens! So happy for you!

    xo, t