Showing posts with label garam masala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garam masala. Show all posts

Apr 2, 2018

Madhur Jaffrey's Garam Masala

madhur jaffrey, recipe, garam masala, easy, indian, coffee grinder, spice mix, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon,

There are as many versions of garam masala as there are home cooks in India. This recipe for the versatile and aromatic spice mix is from the famed cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey. "Masala" means "spices" while "garam" means "hot," which refers to the body-warming properties of the spices in Ayurvedic medicine.

Madhur Jaffrey
For those of you who don't know who Madhur Jaffrey is - she's a Delhi-born actress credited with bringing Indian cuisines to the Americas with her debut cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking (1973). She has written over a dozen cookbooks and appeared on several related television programs, the most notable of which was Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery, which premiered in the UK in 1982. Her recipes are not always authentic due to their being written for western home cooks and what would be available in a western supermarket in the 70's and 80's. But they are always beautifully written, easy to follow, and can be relied on to taste great!


Ms. Jaffrey's recipe for garam masala is quite lavish in its use of spices yet quite practical. Costly green cardamom takes center stage in this vibrant mix while the less expensive but equally flavorful cumin, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the supporting cast. This does not taste anything like the garam masala you'd typically buy readymade! No cheap fillers like coriander or fenugreek in this blend. Ms. Jaffrey has also scaled this recipe down to the perfect amount that will easily fit into an electric coffee grinder like you'd find in a western kitchen too. This is the perfect recipe if you wish to make just a few servings of this bold, versatile, and traditional spice mix.

Ingredients:
1 TBS green cardamom/elaichi pods
1 tsp cumin/jeera or black cumin/shahi jeera seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns/kali mirch
1 tsp whole cloves/laung
1-inch piece of cinnamon or cassia bark/dalchini, broken into pieces (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg/jaiphal or allspice

Here's what to do:
1) Place all the spices in a coffee or spice grinder and grind until to desired consistency.

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2) Keep in a sealed airtight and light-resistant container in a cool dark place for up to 3 months.

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Helpful Hints:
The original recipe specified cardamom seeds. I do not have the patience to sit there and peel an entire tablespoonful of green cardamom pods. Plus my frugal Prussian farmer and Scots-Irish cheapskate genes will not let me toss those gorgeously fragrant and EXPENSIVE green pods. So I just grind them up too!

Madhur Jaffrey does not recommend dry roasting this garam masala so I don't. Works for me! I usually end up frying or cooking whatever I'm using the garam masala in anyway.

Mar 11, 2018

Garam Masala Spiced Almonds

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Garam Masala Spiced Almonds are the perfect healthy snack with a kick. The bold flavors of traditional Indian spices make these nuts addictively delicious!


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Typically when you pay a casual visit to a household in India or Nepal you are served a warm drink, something salty, and something sweet. The drink is usually sweet, milky chai (tea) or sweetened "milk coffee." The salty item can be anything from readymade chaat mixes to potato chips. The sweets are usually biscuits or cake. (I've even been served some unique combinations such as cake and potato chips.) Garam Masala Spiced Almonds are something I started making to serve guests before we could buy readymade chaat mixes (like Haldirams) in packets here in Nepal. It seemed a natural choice as almonds are a favorite treat in my husband's native Kashmir. I'm not sure where I originally found this recipe but I suspect it may have been from the legendary Canadian Chef Vikram Vij.

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Parsi-Style Garam Masala
Over the years I've added and altered the recipe to our tastes. Instead of cayenne, I use Kashmiri mirch for a richer chili kick. Lime juice adds a tart zing in place of the sweeter amchur/mango powder sometimes. Adding asafoetida/hing or garlic powder was entirely my idea to add an umami boost to the mix. You may certainly vary the flavor by using different regional versions of garam masala blends. You'll find recipes for Garam MasalaParsi Garam Masala, Kashmiri Garam Masala, Nepali Garam Masala, and Mughlai Garam Masala on this blog. The oil you choose to make this recipe with can change the flavor a great deal too. Using coconut or sesame oil adds a rich, traditional note while flavorless oils like canola and sunflower oils add none. You can even use raw cashews in this recipe too but be sure to roast them separately from almonds as they cook faster. I hope you'll love this recipe as much as my family does! Off to the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 TBS garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch or cayenne powder
1 tsp mango powder/amchur or 2 tsp lime/lemon juice
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing or garlic powder (optional)
 2 TBS vegetable oil of choice oil
 3 C raw almonds or cashews
2-3 tsp salt to taste 

Here's what to do:
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

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2) In a large bowl, combine spices, and oil. Add almonds or cashews and stir until well coated. Pour coated nuts onto a baking sheet and spread out evenly over the pan.

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3) Bake for 6-8 minutes. Stir with a spatula or spoon, return to oven and bake an additional 6 minutes. Be careful not to burn or scorch the nuts- if the almonds start to turn dark brown around the edges they are burnt. Remember that the almonds will continue cooking for a few minutes after you remove them from the oven.
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4) Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before serving. Store in an air-tight container for up to one month in a cool, dry place.


Helpful Hints: 
If after roasting the nuts are not salted enough for your taste simply sprinkle additional salt and stir them with a spatula or shake them in a jar.

If you are making this recipe with raw cashews be sure to shorten the cooking times by 4-5 minutes.

Apr 12, 2017

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,For a more authentic Indian take on curried deviled eggs try this recipe with garam masala instead of curry powder. Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice mix whose warm and peppery notes brilliantly contrast with creamy egg yolks. Tangy tamarind from Worcestershire sauce and tart lime lend added zest to this dish also. An easy treat to make that can be served as an elegant appetizer before a posh dinner or at a springtime picnic!

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Nepali Style Garam Masala
I really think garam masala works much better with deviled eggs than the usual curry powder. Traditional blends of garam masalas are varying ratios of black pepper, cassia/cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and possibly cumin, fennel, or star anise. The slightly sweet and richly aromatic warmth of these spices are far more complimentary to the delicate, creamy flavor of hard-cooked eggs than the readymade curry powders you'll find in western markets. Most of the curry powders you find for sale in western countries are far too harsh and fenugreek heavy. Try this recipe with your favorite store-bought brand of garam masala or make your own with one of these regional recipes from South Asia: Nepali Style Garam Masala, Basic Garam Masala, Mughlai Garam Masala, Kashmiri Garam Masala, or Parsi Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,

This recipe came about as I was looking for an appetizer to serve at a dinner party we were hosting. I wanted to showcase the beautiful eggs we have here in Nepal. (Above you see our handsome Gaston in black and white checks with with his lovely ladyfriend in red, Mademoiselle Belle.) We certainly don't have any curry powder in our Indian household so I used a recent batch of garam masala I had made. Shabash! It was a hit at the dinner party and has been requested at every meal we've hosted since! My Indian husband had never tasted deviled eggs of any sort but now these are his favorite which he lovingly calls "Eggs with cream." (Most Indians call mayonnaise cream.)

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Look what I found at our local supermarket! All the way from New Orleans it's Crystal brand Worcestershire sauce. It's somewhat the worse for wear as one of the bottles in the case broke and leaked all over. How it got to Nepal from Louisiana boggles my mind. I do love the sharp, sweet, and tangy tinge of tamarind that worcestershire sauce gives to these deviled eggs. Worcestershire sauce has a slight asafoetida/hing-like umami punch that adds Indian flair too. I put a pinch of turmeric in for rich color and to cut the eggy taste a bit. Lime juice is another ingredient typical of Indian cuisine that brings it's floral tartness. Cilantro's fresh green herbaceous note is typically Indian also.You could certainly customize this recipe to your tastes and to what you have on hand. In place of the cilantro I've tried fresh mint, chopped chives, chopped olives, chopped cornichons, mango chutney, finely diced radish, finely diced red onions, and pickled jalapenos with great result!And so without further ado is the recipe:

Ingredients:
6 eggs, hard-cooked and peeled.
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 TBS lime/nimbu juice (or 2 tsp white vinegar)
1 tsp ground mustard powder or prepared mustard
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS chopped cilantro/dhania (fresh mint, chives, chopped olives, chopped cornichons, mango chutney, finely diced radish, & pickled jalapenos are all options too)
salt to taste
For garnish: paprika, Kashmiri mirch, cayenne powder, chopped mint or cilantro

Here's what to do: 
1) Slice peeled hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a mixing bowl. Placed halved whites on a serving platter.
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2) Combine yolks with the mayonnaise, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garam masala, turmeric, chopped cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoonful salt in mixing bowl.

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3) Mix ingredients until creamy using fork, food processor, blender, or mixie. Adjust salt to taste.

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4) Spoon or pipe egg yolk mixture into halved egg whites. For a do-it-yourself pastry bag, clip the end of a small sandwich bag and fill with the egg yolk mixture. Gently squeeze the bag from the top to pipe the mixture into the egg white halves.

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5) Garnish each egg with chopped mint or cilantro. Sprinkle a little Kashmiri mirch, paprika, or cayenne pepper for an extra kick of flavor and color. This recipe can be made up to 4 hours ahead of serving. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 deviled eggs.

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Mar 1, 2017

Parsi Style Scrambled Eggs (Akuri)

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Scrambled eggs take a spicy twist in this classic dish from the Parsi community of India. Ginger, garlic, green chilis, tomatoes, a hint of cilantro, and a pinch of garam masala make these eggs the ultimate breakfast for dinner. A quick and easy recipe that's ready in twenty minutes.

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Parsi scrambled eggs, akuri, or akoori is one of my favorite dishes to order when we eat out. So when I saw this recipe in Saveur a few years back I had to try making them myself. The Saveur recipe was a little different than what I've tasted in restaurants in India so I've tweaked it a bit. I've added ginger, turmeric, and garam masala because that's what I've tasted in restaurants here. The turmeric gives the eggs a brilliant color while the ginger and garam masala gives them a bit more Indian pep. I usually use a little milk in the recipe rather than cream simply because I rarely have cream on hand. Whether you choose to enjoy these Parsi scrambled eggs atop buttered toast with orange juice in the continental manner or with rice and rotis in the subcontinental way I'm sure you'll love'em!

Ingredients:
4 eggs
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
1/2 C onion, finely diced
2 tsp ginger/adrak paste
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2-3 green chilis, finely chopped (omit for less heat)
1 tomato, finely diced
1/4 tsp garam masala or ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
2 TBS milk or cream
2 TBS cilantro/dhania leaves, chopped coarsely
optional for garnish- 2 TBS chopped cilantro/dhania leaves

Here's what to do:
1) Heat oil or ghee with one tesaspoon salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add ginger, garlic, chiles, and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes soften, about 5-6 minutes.

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2) While onion mixture is cooking mix eggs, garam masala or black pepper, turmeric, milk or cream, and chopped cilantro together until thoroughly mixed. (Sometimes I cheat a little and run this through the mixie.) 
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3) Add egg mixture to fried onion and tomato mixture in skillet with a half teaspoonful of salt. Mix well. 

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4) Stir and cook egg mixture until set into soft curds, about 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to a platter. Garnish with cilantro sprinkled over eggs and serve hot with toast, rice, or as a fiiling for a kati roll or breakfast burrito.
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Helpful Hints:
For breakfast on-the-go or a tea time treat we like to roll Parsi scrambled eggs in a roti with a dollop of chutney. This is sort of like the street food called a kati roll in Kolkata, a frankie in Mumbai, or a breakfast burrito in the United States.

Jan 25, 2017

Mughlai Garam Masala

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In Hindi, masala refers to a mixture of spices and garam means hot or warming in the Ayurvedic sense. Mughlai garam masala is a traditional mixture of cardamom, cassia bark, cloves, black pepper, and nutmeg added. It adds a subtle aromatic flavor to dishes and is considered a hallmark of classical north Indian cooking.


Garam masala is used as a finishing touch in many Subcontinental cuisines just as ground black pepper is used in Western cooking. Recipes for garam masala vary from region to region and even household to household! This classic recipe for garam masala in royal Mughal style is adapted from the famed chef Julie Sahni's brilliant cookbook, Classic Indian Cooking. Differing in the lavish use of expensive spices this particular blend is not often commercially available. If you were to purchase the ingredients for this garam masala at a western supermarket or specialty spice store the cost would be exorbitant. However, if you buy the whole spices at your local Indian grocer and grind them yourself, this blend will cost mere pennies!

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The flavor of this garam masala is sweeter and more delicate compared to most ready made blends too. I like to use this recipe when cooking the rich cream, milk, or meat-based dishes of north Indian cuisines. According to Chef Sahni, the spices in this blend are so naturally fragrant and easily digested that dry roasting them isn't necessary. I chose green cardamoms for this batch but using black or brown cardamoms results in a deeper, smoky flavor. I also used cassia bark rather than cinnamon sticks because it's traditional and I prefer it's peppery bite over the sweeter cinnamon. Anyway you choose to customize this blend it's sure to add a little Mughal splendor to everything you make!

Ingredients:
1/3 cup (about 200) green cardamom/elaichi pods or 1/2 C (about 60) black cardamoms/badi elaichi
2 three inch pieces of cassia bark/dalchini or cinnamon sticks
1 TBS whole cloves/laung
1 TBS black peppercorns/kali mirch
1&1/2 tsp grated nutmeg/jaiphal (optional)

Here's what to do:
1) Crush cassia bark or cinnamon sticks with a kitchen mallet, rolling pin, or belan to break it into small pieces. (If you have little bits and bobs of cassia bark or cinnamon stick about this is a good place to use them.)

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2) Combine all the spices except nutmeg and grind to a fine powder in a coffee grinder, a spice mill, or a mixie.
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3) Mix in the grated nutmeg, if desired. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light. Use within three months. Makes about 3/4C

Helpful Hints:
Chef Sahni advises removing the seeds from the cardamom pods and discarding the skins. I disagree, the skin of green cardamoms and black cardamoms have flavor. I can't bear to throw the skins away! Anyway, I use the whole pod when I grind my masalas but peel away if you must. (But don't throw away those skins, put them in your masala chai mix!)

If you are interested in trying other regional variations of this classic spice blend try Punjabi Garam Masala, Nepali Garam Masala, or Kashmiri Garam Masala.

Portrait of Mughal Emperor Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (Babur), founder of the Mughal empire
date 1630AD, artist unknown

Aug 17, 2016

Kashmiri Garam Masala


Kashmiri Garam Masala Kashmiri Garam Masala shahi jeera indian spice mix authentic kashmir fennel

Every region of India has it's own blend of garam masala. The word garam means heating to the body in the Ayurvedic sense and masala means spices. The Kashmiri version of garam masala differs from other North Indian spice mixes in it's use of shahi jeera and fennel seeds.  Richly flavored and warmly aromatic and this recipe perfectly complements the savory dishes of Kashmir.

Kashmiri Garam Masala shahi jeera indian spice mix authentic kashmir fennel
Traditionally, about a half teaspoon of this spice mix is stirred into whatever savory Kashmiri dish you've made just before serving. If you wish to use this garam masala mix in this manner you must dry roast it. Unfortunately dry roasting spices causes them to go rancid sooner so either make this recipe in small batches or store it in an airtight container in the freezer. The mace and nutmeg do not require dry roasting so simply grind them in after roasting and cooling the other spices.

Ingredients:
1 TBS black peppercorns/kali mirch
1 TBS cumin/jeera seeds
1 TBS shahi jeera/black cumin seeds
1 TBS fennel/saunf seeds
2 blades of mace/javatri
7  black cardamoms/kali elaichi
2 two inch pieces of cassia bark/dalchini, broken into smaller pieces
25 cloves/laung
2 blades of mace/javatri
1 tsp nutmeg/jaiphal, ground

Here's what to do:
1) Preheat oven to 220F/100C.
2) Spread all spices except for nutmeg and mace on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
3) Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to cool.
4) When spices have cooled add nutmeg and mace to mixture. Place all spices in mixie, blender or food processor and pulse to grind spices coarsely. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light for up to one month.


Helpful hints:
You can use this as you would any garam masala mix in any recipe for a bit of Kashmiri flair.
If you plan on using this garam masala mix in a recipe where it is to be heated or fried you do not need to dry roast it.

Jan 1, 2016

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a blend of aromatic spices commonly used in South Asian cooking. Many regions of the Asian Subcontinent have their own unique blends of garam masala. Garam in this context means 'warm' or 'heating' to the body in the Ayurvedic sense. Masala simply means spices. Garam masala can also be varied to suit personal taste.  Depending on usage garam masala may be dry roasted or left raw. 


Some regional cuisines of South Asia traditionally stir 1/2 teaspoonful of garam masala into a dish just before serving, this requires the garam masala to be dry roasted before use. Other cuisines of the Subcontinent use garam masala during cooking so the spice mix is left raw. I prefer not to dry roast my garam masala as I use it during cooking. Dry roasted spices also tend to not store well & develop an 'off' flavor if not used quickly. (I'll include techniques to dry roast spices if you wish to do so though.) 

Ingredients:
1 TBS green cardamoms/elaichi
7 brown cardamoms/kali elaichi
4 tsp cloves/laung
4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1&1/2 TBS black peppercorns/kali mirch
4 one & half inch pieces of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon sticks)
3 mace jackets/javatri (or 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg or allspice)

Here's what to do:
For raw/unroasted garam masala- 
Coarsely grind all spices until roughly the texture of coffee grounds. Traditionally a mortar & pestle or "sil batta" was used to get this texture. Garam masala is not supposed to be like that finely ground powdery stuff you see sold at stores. To get the traditional 'coffee grounds' texture we're looking for use the 'pulse' button on your mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder until you get the desired results. If you are using a coffee grinder or small mixie jar you might want to grind each spice separately in batches to get a consistent texture. Breaking the cassia bark (or cinnamon sticks) into smaller pieces before grinding helps also. Store in an airtight container out of sunlight.

Two methods to dry roast garam masala-

Traditional- 
1) Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan or tawa for 7-10 minutes.
2) Dry roast spices one at a time in batches, or toss all spices in & stir frequently until spices give off a fragrant aroma. Do not dry roast mace, nutmeg or allspice.
3) Allow to cool completely. Grind coarsely (including mace, nutmeg, or allspice) using pulse button in mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container out of sunlight.
(The problem with this traditional method is that the temperature isn't really even over a tawa on a gas flame & some spices may scorch while others remain unroasted.  Cumin usually roasts faster than the other spices & when burned has an unpleasant bitter flavor.  Roasting spices separately reduces the risk of scorching but is tedious. Why do South Asians still do use traditional tawa method? Because most South Asians do not have any sort of oven in their homes.)

Fast & easy oven method-
1) Preheat oven to 220F/100C.
2) Spread all spices (except mace, nutmeg or allspice) over 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake spices for 10 minutes.
3) Allow to cool completely & grind coarsely (including mace, nutmeg, or allspice) using pulse button in mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container out of sunlight.


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