Mom’s Garam Masala – A Family Recipe

Mom’s Garam Masala – I cannot believe that I am finally writing an actual post about this amazingly aromatic, out-of-the-world garam masala recipe!! This is a family recipe that is being used for generations and this is my attempt to preserve some of the family traditions as a legacy.

As mentioned in my simple garam masala recipe, every family has their own version of garam masala and I couldn’t be happier to finally share the one from my family! In many maharashtrian families this kind of masala is also referred to as ‘Goda masala’. My mom uses this garam masala to make the authentic and delicious recipes like chicken curry, stuffed eggplant or black eyed peas curry!

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Berbere Spice Blend

Berbere Spice Blend is used as a seasoning in Ethiopian cuisine. It adds warmth and depth to fish, chicken and stews. I also love adding berbere spice to burgers, soups, tacos or in dips with olive oil and lemon juice.

Berbere represents a blend of cultural and geographic influences from the spices of India to the chile peppers of the New World. My version of this spice mix has hot peppers, black pepper, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Continue reading “Berbere Spice Blend”

Homemade ghee – Instant Pot

Ghee, a staple in Indian cooking, is popular for its high-smoke point and nutty, toasted flavor! The best and purest ghee is the one that is home-made from grass-fed, organic, unsalted butter.  In addition to my stove top version, here is how to make homemade ghee in Instant Pot!

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Indian Pulses – A quick guide to lentils, beans and peas

Pulses. A fancy word to describe the ever-so-delicious and protein-packed chickpeas, lentils and dry peas. I am truly fascinated by the different types available and can’t resist picking up a new bag every time I go shopping. My pantry now contains over 20 different varieties! Continue reading “Indian Pulses – A quick guide to lentils, beans and peas”

Homemade Paneer{Indian cottage cheese}

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Back to basics today. I have to confess that it took me literally years before I tried making paneer at home. Still, at times, I use the store-bought paneer, of course only after checking that it does not have any extra additives or preservatives. Homemade paneer by far has the freshest taste and beautiful soft texture. It is super easy to make with just 2 basic ingredients! So if you have time or can plan ahead homemade paneer is the way to go.

Paneer is fresh unsalted white cheese used in Indian cooking, that can be made at home with just whole milk and lemon juice! It has a very mild creamy flavor and crumbly texture that goes well with many curries and desserts!

Fresh paneer can be grilled on skewers for some fun kebabs and also used in sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets! It is a very versatile ingredient to use in Indian curries like Palak Paneer , Matar Paneer or Paneer Tikka Masala. Homemade paneer can also be used in making many Indian desserts, I love making delicious homemade Rasmalai!

Here is a step by step recipe:

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Chana Masala Spice blend

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I have been working to perfect the spice blend for my restaurant style chana masala for almost a month. There is no wrong way to make this spice blend as long as you have some basic key ingredients. The only tricky part was figuring out the proportions so that the dish is a perfect blend of spicy and tangy flavors, without over complicating the recipe by using too many ingredients. I am so excited that I finally have my recipe nailed and happy to share it with you. Here is how I make my favorite homemade chana masala spice blend.

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Homemade 5-Ingredient Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a staple spice blend in every Indian home. It is the aromatic spice blend that brings warmth and depth to Indian cuisine.

Every region, every family has their own secret recipe for garam masala that is combination of spices. My mom’s quintessential garam masala uses 19 spices! I still remember her yearly ritual of making the garam masala, which involved shopping for the best whole spices, cleaning and roasting them, grinding them and then carefully storing them in beautiful glass jars. It would be shared with relatives and used for rest of the year. Lucky for me, my mom still makes the blend every year and has a jar ready for me to bring back each time we visit her in India.

Over the past several years, during her visits to the US she taught me how to create a simplified version in smaller batches. This version uses 5 ingredients that are readily available – peppercorns, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black cumin or caraway seeds. Just 1 tsp of this garam masala can add authentic flavors to many Indian dishes. Flavors of this homemade version has NO comparison to any store bought spice blend.

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