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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Chicken Chettinad | The Novice HousewifeChicken Chettinad | The Novice Housewife

I am a Sikh and have grown up on north indian cuisine. For a long time my knowledge of cuisines of the southern states of India was limited to dosas and idlis. But it is now slowly growing and some of my favorite dishes come from down south. The use of coconut and curry leaves in a lot of their dishes is what particularly draws me to the cuisine of the south, though the cuisine is not just limited to these two ingredients. The food of the state of Kerala is one of my favorites. Appam and stew, iddiyapams, kerala fish fry is something I could eat any number of times as possible in a week.

I could also eat this chettinad chicken recipe that I am sharing today every week.

Chicken Chettinad | The Novice Housewife

The recipe is from my favorite book on Indian cuisine: India: The Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant.

If there is one Indian book you want in your collection it should be this book.

Pushpesh Pant has written an encyclopedia on Indian cuisine and you can find recipes from all different parts of India. While the steps may sometimes require a little knowledge of indian cooking, the recipes have never disappointed me.

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Drunken Chicken Banh Mi | The Novice Housewife

I recently got the Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen and I love it.

The first time I had the popular Vietnamese sandwich was in Toronto when I was staying there for my cake decorating course.

Most of my stay was with my uncle and his family (and my nani),  but I did spend a few days with my college friend who lived close to downtown Toronto. While staying with her, my friend took me to Banh Mi Boys, a top rated place on yelp and that is when my life was introduced these crazy delicious vietnamese sandwiches.

I had never tried making these sandwiches at home though. Until now.

Homemade banh mi rolls | The Novice Housewife

Andrea Nguyen runs a blog by the name of Viet World Kitchen and has authored a couple of cookbooks on asian cuisine including The Banh Mi Handbook . The cookbook starts with a brief look into Andrea’s long association with the sandwich and then talks about the basic pantry essentials to make your own banh mi. Andrea also includes recipes for homemade sauces and pickled vegetables that make the banh mi so special. And for people who would like to make their own banh mi buns instead of using store bought, Andrea has a very good recipe along with step-by-step pictorial instructions.

There are around 50 recipes in the book. What I love about the cookbook is that it gives a lot of options to customize the banh mi sandwiches to your liking. My husband does not eat any other kind of meat besides chicken (and on certain rare occasions lamb), and is vegetarian on two days of the week, which makes this cookbook a good addition to my collection because of the various chicken and vegetarian filling recipes it has.

Drunken Chicken Banh Mi | The Novice HousewifeDrunken Chicken Banh Mi | The Novice HousewifeDrunken Chicken Banh Mi | The Novice Housewife

Almost all the ingredients in the book are easily available and if not, Andrea offers substitutions. Andrea also offers little notes with each recipe with tips and variations to customize the recipe and create a banh mi that you will love.

While there are many recipes that I would like to try I started with making homemade banh mi rolls. And made the book’s drunken chicken banh mi.

Both V and I loved the drunk chicken banh mi and I am sharing the recipe today. The drunken chicken filling is absolutely delicious. I will be trying the Hanoi grilled chicken banh mi or maybe the coconut curry tofu next.

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