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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This besan chilla recipe was something that my grandfather made for us. Growing up, summer and winter vacations were always at my grandparents’ house. My grandmother was a great cook and almost all meals were cooked by her, but besan ka chilla and cold coffee were my grandfather’s forte.
Besan ka Chilla is kind of like a vegetarian omelet made from gram flour mixed with water (all those aquafaba stories you hear today- apparently something similar was being done by our grandparents long back and we had no clue).
Since nobody in our family, for religious purposes or because of allergies, had any problems with egg, my grandfather would make a variant of the besan ka chilla and would add egg to the whole mix. You can of course make it eggless, but then it wont be my grandfather’s recipe. I do have an eggless version with moong dal in the archives but today I am sharing the version that I have grown up on.