Tag: Masala

Spice Blend: Lemon-Cardamom Masala

Lemon-Cardamom Masala 1

A few years back, I posted a recipe for Cardamom-Lemon Chicken that I very much liked and I have long wanted to put together a ‘wet’ Masala, or spice paste, based on the central flavors that could be made ahead and used for several dishes. As I mentioned in the original post, the recipe there, as with this current blend, is not a traditional Indian recipe but both, at the very least, are very Indian in spirit.

It has taken me a while to actually get down to creating this paste and, after testing it, I found I was a bit disappointed in one regard… In the original recipe, I noted that the flavor of the cardamom did not come through very noticeably and I said that I would increase the amount of this spice component in future attempts. As it is, I put a pretty hefty amount of ground cardamom into the current mix, but, to my surprise, it, again, didn’t exactly dominate. That being said, though … the end result was really terrific and so I will be adding this particular spice blend recipe to my repertoire… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Lemon-Cardamom Masala”

Methi Masala Chicken

Methi Masala Chicken 1

Today’s production is very Indian in character and features chicken roasted in a green spice blend, or masala, whose central ingredient is dried Fenugreek leaf (known in India as ‘Methi’). In my post on the fresh Fenugreek Leaf, I noted that, whereas the fresh article is useful as a vegetable, when dried, the flavor becomes very concentrated and, as a culinary herb, lends dishes a very warm, almost maple-like flavor that is quite unique… Continue reading “Methi Masala Chicken”

Dunya™ Vindaloo Masala

Dunya Vindaloo Masala 01

Most everyone with even a passing acquaintance with Indian cuisine will be familiar with the very popular Vindaloo style curry, and regular readers will recall the loose interpretation of the basic dish I made with my Gomanchala Pork Curry some time ago.

The commercial Vindaloo spice powder you see pictured above was a gift from a visitor this past summer. I have not come across the Dunya brand before (they are an Indian company) but I note that their packaging is very similar to that of Sharwood’s, whose Tandoori Masala I reviewed last year. In any event, I thought that the best way to test this product would be to try out the recipe the manufacturers thoughtfully provide on the label of the container…  Continue reading “Dunya™ Vindaloo Masala”

Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand

Kissan Tandoori Masala 01

Not long ago, a visitor from down south brought my wife a ‘care package’ of various Indian food products which included the commercial Tandoori spice blend you see pictured above. I have not come across this particular brand before and I thought I might test it with a very simple Tandoori Chicken preparation on my barbecue… Continue reading “Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand”

Spice Blend: Chaat Masala

There is a whole range of snacks in Indian cookery, somewhat corresponding to Chinese Dim Sum, or Spanish Tapas, that known generally as Chaat, or Chat. The name is commonly translated simply as ‘snack’ but it is actually derived from an onomatopoeic  Hindi word that captures the sound of smacking lips. A Masala, as I have mentioned in many previous posts, is a common term in Indian cuisine meaning spice blend, and, not surprisingly, there is a specific mixture, albeit with many different permutations, specifically used for these tasty treats.

I have experimented with some different blends ever since my wife brought home an excellent commercial variety from New Delhi several years ago and I decided that I would like to do a bit of an in-depth study of the various versions and then come up with something of a definitive basic blend for my own use… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Chaat Masala”

Spice: Black Salt

Black Salt, or ‘Kala Namak’ as it is known in Hindi, is not a seasoning that will be commonly found in western kitchens, but the unique taste will be somewhat familiar to those who have experienced the increasingly more popular Indian snacks known as ‘chaat’. These snacks, often consisting of deep-fried bits and pieces, are generally seasoned with spice mixtures collectively known under the name ‘Chaat Masala‘, in which dried mango powder and black salt, with its signature sulfurous quality, figure highly. The salt, while still only commonly found in Asian groceries in the west, is, nevertheless, relatively inexpensive to purchase and well worth seeking out… Continue reading “Spice: Black Salt”

Experiment: Drumstick Potato Masala

When I introduced Drumsticks in a ‘Foodstuff’s’ post, I suggested that I might try a recipe from Orissa I found in one of my cookery books as a first experiment. When I looked at that recipe again, however, it struck me as a little bit boring so I decided to improvise a little. I went ahead and paired my drumsticks with potato as in the original recipe but then I opted for a much drier, less ‘saucy’ dish and gave things a bit of a Bengali flavor… Continue reading “Experiment: Drumstick Potato Masala”

Spice Blend: Chili Garlic Ginger Paste

Chili, Ginger and garlic, are a trio that come together in all sorts of dishes and, in Indian cookery especially, many cooks pre-make their own pastes from the ingredients and keep it on hand as a convenient time-saver. It is tremendously versatile, being used as-is or as the base for more complex Masalas, and it keeps very well indeed. Most recipes you come across suggest that it will keep anywhere from a week to a month (or longer frozen, of course) but, if a little salt (or sometimes vinegar) is added, it will last for ages. I actually have some in my fridge right now that is pushing six or eight months in age and, although the color has faded just a little it still tastes great. Still, the original fresh taste of the chili has diminished a bit and I thought it time that I made a new batch and share the process with my readers… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Chili Garlic Ginger Paste”

Experiment: Indian Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken, or ‘Murgh Makhani’, is an Indian dish, possibly originating in the Punjab that has become widely popular as a standard on the menu in Indian restaurants around the world. Essentially, it consists of chicken in spiced sauce with tomato and cream but there are many variations on the basic idea. The chicken can be bone-in or boneless and the sauce may be made using tomato puree or either fresh or canned tomatoes. I have had many, many versions of this in restaurants all over the place but the best I can recall was one I had in Vancouver about 6 or 7 years ago. That version used fresh tomatoes and is the version I want to try and reproduce for this post.

Some recipes use fresh chicken, either light or dark meat, but leftover Tandoori chicken is supposed to be more traditional. There is a story to the effect that the dish originated when a chef in Delhi had to come up with a chicken dish on very short notice and threw some Tandoori chicken pieces into a sauce with tomato and cream to the delight of his customers. Personally, I tend to take such stories with a grain of salt as there are similar versions about dozens of other dishes, but I do think that using leftover Tandoori chicken makes for a superior result. For a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post on two different Tandoori Masalas, I cooked up three batches of Tandoori chicken, two to test the Masalas, and then an extra one to use for this experiment… Continue reading “Experiment: Indian Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani”