Garam Masala Recipes

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Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry) Recipe

Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry)

03.02.10 by Jackie

Jeera aloo masala is a potato dish made with a spicy cumin gravy. Turmeric powder gives the dish its bright yellow color, and along with the heat from the traditional garam masala, makes this dish the ultimate Indian comfort food.

I often make jeera aloo because it's a quick and easy vegetarian meal when I'm pressed for time. There are always potatoes and a container of ready-made garam masala in my house, so it's something I can throw together with almost no effort.

I think we all wish we could give our family healthy meals, but sometimes life intervenes and it's hard to find time to make wholesome food. Having a few recipes like jeera aloo in your culinary arsenal that you can whip up quickly and easily will help keep you from relying too much on high calorie takeout.


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Beef Shami Kebab Recipe

Beef Shami Kebab

02.17.10 by Jackie

Shami kebabs are made with an abundance of fabulous spices, meat (beef, goat, lamb or chicken) and chana dal (dried garbanzo beans). The spices vary depending on whether they're from India (Lucknow or Hyderabad) or Pakistan. My husband Lulu's family is from Hyderabad. They're all meat-eaters, with the exception of my husband and father-in-law. So we often make this dish when we have family over for dinner.

These are not your average kebabs. The meat is cubed and cooked in a pressure cooker with chana dal, and once cooked, it's ground in a food processor with yogurt. The resulting mixture is formed into "hamburger" patties that can be frozen or seared, depending on when you plan on eating them.

I learned this recipe from Baji, Lulu's late grandmother. She was an excellent cook. When Lulu and I first got married, she was already giving us hints.

"Jackie, I'm going to teach you a meat specialty from my hometown. They're called Shami Kebabs; they're spiced hamburger patties. This recipe is a must-have when you two have little children. It's nutritious and easy for little ones to eat. Speaking of which, when are you going to give me great grand-children so I can feed these kebabs to them?"

I would always smile, nod and pretend I didn't hear the part about having kids. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to start a family, but the pressure was a little overwhelming. Lulu's grandmother isn't with us anymore, but I promise that I'll make this for my kids when I have them, assuming they don't become vegetarians like Lulu (fingers crossed).


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Mattar Paneer (Peas and Fried Indian Cheese Curry) Recipe

Mattar Paneer is a dish made with peas and Indian cheese.  It isn't as quite popular as palak paneer, a similar recipe made with spinach instead of peas.

In our home, mattar paneer is made fairly often because it's the girls' favorite Indian dish.  If you have kids and can't get them to eat their peas, this recipe may do the trick. The key is to make a creamy masala sauce. To make the dish even healthier, I add diced, steamed potatoes that are approximately the same shape as the paneer.


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Garam Masala Spice Mix Recipe Recipe

Garam Masala Spice Mix Recipe

06.11.09 by Jackie

Garam Masala is often used in Indian cooking. It's a blend of several Indian spices like cumin, cinnamon and turmeric. It takes a little time but it's so worth it. The result is so much more fragrant than the store-bought jars. It is used in a variety of Indian dishes, such as Tandoori chicken, palak paneer, dahls (lentils) and my Tandoori glazed roasted white seabass.

Masala in Urdu means "paste" and garam means "hot", and oh boy, believe me, it's full of spices!


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Tandoori Glazed Roasted White Sea Bass  Recipe

Tandoori paste is a true culinary chameleon. In Indian cuisine, it is commonly used with chicken in the eponymously titled dish. But there are so many more possibilities. We just purchased some sea bass for a dinner party, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to marry the very strong blend of flavors in the tandoori paste with the rich, buttery texture of the sea bass.

Speaking of marriage, the idea for a tandoori glaze came to me after our wedding reception menu tasting. It was almost 5 years ago. How time flies! Anyway, our caterer gave us a lot of samples to taste before the big day. One of the options was a hoisin glazed roasted Chilean sea bass. It tasted wonderful and it got me thinking about other "ethnic" flavors to marinate the fish.

 tandoori sea bass

Look at the buttery succulent texture of the sea bass. Mmm.

 



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