Strawberry Rye Tart | The Novice Housewife

Let’s be honest. I only got Sweeter off the Vine for Yossy Arefi’s photographs. I follow her on instagram and love all her pictures. So I kind of already knew I would like this book.

I love baking with fruits and if you do too, this book is a gem. The book is categorized into different seasons and baking with fruits available during these seasons. Of course the fruit available will depend on the place you stay and these days some fruits are available throughout the year but the book focuses on seasonal fruits and baking with them, which I love.

The Spring section has herbs, rhubarb, strawberries and cherries based recipes. Summer uses apricots, mixed berries, melons, stone fruits, raspberries and figs. Grapes, permissons, pomegranates, apples, pears, quince, squash and pumpkins feature in fall recipes. And winter has recipes using cranberries, citrus and dates.

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Dhaba style Chicken curry

When my dad was doing his Air Warfare Staff College in US in 1989, there were a lot of social get togethers organized for spouses to interact with each other. One of the get togethers was a potluck to which my mom brought an Indian flavored chicken curry. Coincidentally a lady from Pakistan also brought a chicken curry to the gathering. When my mom recounts this incident she remembers the Pakistani lady’s chicken as being absolutely delicious and thought the lady’s dish to be better than her own. She remembers a lot of people coming to her and complimenting on how flavorful her dish was. My mom believes the people complimenting her thought she was the one who brought the chicken dish which actually the Pakistani lady brought. My mom still thinks that was one of the best chicken curry she ever tasted and since then she has wanted to make something similar.

When she was visiting us in Dallas, she thought of looking for a recipe similar to the one the Pakistani lady had cooked. She found one online, which sounded good and the recipe that I am sharing today is adapted from that. She thinks this was the closest she has come to replicating the flavors of the chicken curry she had almost 24 years back.

The reason I have called this dhaba style chicken curry is that its a no frills recipe and the taste is very similar to what you get in dhabas (roadside eateries) in India. We indians love our dhaba food and this chicken curry is quite similar to the one we get in punjabi dhabas. Using freshly ground whole spices always makes indian dishes more flavorful. Ground spices tend to lose their flavor, so wherever possible do try to just grind as much as you would require for one dish, instead of grinding in bulk and keeping them for weeks.

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Chocolate Brioche | The Novice Housewife

I love brioche. Its a buttery, rich, croissant-like bread. What’s not to love? There’s no doubt the classic version tastes great but if you add chocolate, well, things just get out of control good.

My dad makes a pretty good brioche loaf, even though he uses his bread machine to do most of the work. While I love the convenience of a bread machine, I feel by using it, one missed out on all the fun that is involved in bread making. And that’s why I never invested in one and probably won’t. That said, I do like the brioche my dad makes.

On the other hand, the first time I made a brioche loaf it was disastrous. I don’t know what I did wrong but the brioche did not rise. It was not feathery light, but dense. After that I put brioche making on hold for a while. Then I got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I had a go at brioche again using Thomas Keller’s recipe and this time I was successful.


I have made a mention about the three issue old Bake From Scratch magazine before on the blog when I tried and shared their recipe for homemade rye bread. Their new issue is out and its all about French bakes.

The cover photo (which is absolutely gorgeous) is of this chocolate brioche, and one look at it and I knew I had to bake the brioche au chocolat. Equipped with the success from my previous brioche trials, and seeing how a chocolate brioche would be a perfect brunch/breakfast addition, I decided to bake the loaf before mom leaves for Canada.

I adapted the recipe slightly by subbing a little of the all purpose flour for whole wheat. I didn’t have too much whole wheat flour on hand to substitute though. Next time I will experiment with a higher ratio of whole wheat flour and will update this space with the results.

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