Whole wheat nankhatai | The novice HousewifeDuring the weekend we met up with our friends and one of them mentioned how she had made nankhatai for evening tea the other day. And that how quick it was. I was reminded how I had not made these eggless indian cookies for a while now and thought I should.

So yesterday I made them from a recipe that I posted 4 years back. The previously posted nankhatai recipe is now updated with a printable version and you can check it out here. A few people have used the recipe to give as diwali gifts too . Since diwali is not any time soon, you can just bake them for a nice evening time snack. The hint of cardamom combined with rich taste of ghee, make this cookies a great tea time treat. Generally made with all purpose flour, I use whole wheat to make them a little healthier.

Besides talking about nankhatai, we had a great weekend. V was out the whole week for work and came back on Saturday. Three of his Duke friends were also in town for the weekend and it was two days filled with drinking, eating and lot of fun.

Coconut rice pudding at Malai Kitchen

Coconut rice pudding at Malai Kitchen


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Homemade Rye Bread

Homemade Rye Bread | The Novice Housewife

Its been a rough start to the new year for our family. Two weeks back I lost my grandmother to cancer. A few days back my grandfather (my nanaji)  took his last breath after suffering from dementia. My mom lost both her parents in a span of two weeks and my heart goes out to her, my uncle and aunt.

The quick succession in which I lost two grandparents shook all of us but we are all finding solace in the fact that both their sufferings have come to an end. It is kind of sweet how they lived and left together. Hope they are both resting in peace together wherever they are.

I don’t have many memories with my nanaji. Since he lived in Canada with my uncle and would not visit India as often I did not get to spend too much time with him. When I went to Canada for my course two years back, his dementia had started to kick in, so I missed an opportunity to get to know him better. He mostly kept to himself, reading the Granth sahib and praying. Occasionally we would talk, but the next day he wouldn’t remember our conversations and ask the same questions again. And while I never got to know him too well, he was very close to my mom. And I am glad she was able to make it to Canada in time to spend his last moments with him.

Homemade Rye Bread with carom seeds | The Novice Housewife

This recipe was supposed to go up during the weekend, but with all that was happening I was not able to post. Even though its Tuesday and I generally share an indian recipe, I am sharing the recipe for this rye bread today.

2016 introduced me to homemade rye breads. I first experimented with a spelt and rye bread (and will be sharing that recipe as well soon) and loved the taste. I then tried my hand at this light caraway studded rye bread. I did substitute the caraway seeds for carom seeds. Even though the two seeds don’t have similar tastes and are not substitutes, I have enjoyed eating breads in India that add carom seeds and since thats all what I had in my pantry the day I was making this bread, I experimented with carom seeds in the recipe. I did not mind the substitution at all.

The recipe that I used is from the second issue of the magazine Bake from Scratch. While the recipe called for light rye flour I used dark, and also as mentioned I used carom seeds instead of the caraway seeds, though traditional rye bread uses caraway seeds.

Working with rye you should know that rye dough is not as elastic as wheat-based dough. The more percentage of rye flour you use in your dough, the more slowly it will rise. So patience is the key to success for rye breads.

There are certain health benefits associated with rye flour. Rye bread fills you up, suppressing your desire to eat. It also doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels (source : livestrong.com). Of course it doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat it as much as you want- anything in excess is never good. But, rye bread is better than a 100% white flour bread. Plus, the rye flour takes your regular flour bread and gives it a distinct flavor, which I really enjoyed.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies| The Novice Housewife

There is not enough that I can say that would do justice to how good these chocolate crinkle cookies were. Crunchy exterior and almost a cake like interior and the perfect treat for any chocolate lover. Take my word for it and bake them today.

I have never had these cookies elsewhere but the texture of these always intrigued me and after I saw a few of my favorite IG accounts posting about them, I had to try them out.

I got the recipe off the America’s Test Kitchen Step By Step Holiday Baking Magazine. Its on their website as well and if cooking is your love their site is a good place to search for recipes. I tried a bunch of the magazine’s recipes during christmas- besides the chocolate crinkle cookies I tried their rosemary and olive bread and the british scones. All were great and made our christmas meals special.  You can see pictures of the food on my instagram account.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies| The Novice Housewife

While the cookies are relatively straight forward to make, they are a few points for a successful crinkle cookie that America’s Test Kitchen tells to keep in mind:

  • One is the use of both baking powder and baking soda.
  • Two, bake from dough that has been left at room temperature for ten minutes and not straight out of the refrigerator.
  • Three, using unsweetened chocolate keeps the cookies from being overly sweet
  • Four, roll dough in both granulated and confectioners’ sugar. The granulated sugar acts as a barrier that keeps the confectioners sugar from dissolving into the cookie while baking; thus resulting in crinkle tops with a black and white top.

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