Recently my tot and I went strawberry picking at Andrew’s Scenic Acres and brought home quite a haul of ripe red strawberries. They were the kind of ripe that you could eat that day, but would need to make something with the day after and while the kid wanted strawberry cake I thought it is time to branch out a wee bit. After a fair bit of googling I used this strawberry filling and this beloved tart crust and created a little piece of strawberry heaven. I am so excited about how this turned out that I am debating making it again tomorrow because I only have a quarter of it left right now. Yes, I have a problem.
The strawberry filling has been edited a little and I am writing out my version below. The crust is a no knead just press one (my favourite kind) that I simply adore because tricky pie crusts on hot summer days really are not my thing. I had made the filling a day and crust a day before and so today I just put it all together and I do not know what I enjoyed more – the bubbly strawberry aroma that wafted through my kitchen or the incredible sweet yet tart taste of the filling enveloped in its buttery crust. Actually who am I kidding – clearly eating it is the best part!
There are some things I wish my mama had taught me how to cook – Murgh Chholay is one of them. Well, why didn’t she you may ask? As far as I know my mama has never made murgh chholay. You see, we are from Karachi, a boisterous city by the sea, whose 15 million inhabitants hail from all over Pakistan and pre partition India. Murgh Chholay is a very Lahori dish and one that I had only had in restaurants until I moved to Canada and concluded that if I wanted good murgh chholay on a regular basis then I better figure out how to make them. Folks, I think I have it now. Thanks to the combination of a little googling and a few past attempts I seem to have figured out how to get the subtle back of the mouth heat of this dish without losing the flavour of the ingredients. Phew. All that mediocrity was getting to be exhausting!
Turns out the problem I was having was that I was using similar ratios of spices for the murgh chholay that I would with a regular chicken curry and what that meant was that it would always end up tasting a little – well boring, for lack of better word. You see the chickpeas really soak up flavour and so you need to create a strong spice base otherwise there just is not enough to go around. So don’t be shy about the chilli powder and the green chillies at the end. Just remember when we cook the green chillies a lot of the aggressive heat of the chillies cooks out anyway.
I think it says a lot about this cake that my two year old now feels very comfortable telling people that she made it. The first time she actually said “mama helped me” and then next thing you know she apparently made it “all by myself”. Fact is that we have made it THAT many times that she feels like she knows what she is doing and it is so delicious that who wouldn’t want to take all the credit! Seriously though, I may have gotten her to mix, add ingredients, wash the strawberries, place the strawberries and sprinkle the sugar on top. I am sure I did something…
The original recipe is from Martha Stewart, but I actually came across it on Smitten Kitchen a while ago. It should go without saying that this tastes best when strawberries are in season, but it is still surprisingly good when they aren’t quite there. I have tried making it with less sugar and found that it really impacted the texture of the cake. It was still good, just not great.
Try this cake. It is so perfectly summer and so easy that even a 2 year old can make it (almost).