Fragrant Garam Masala

THE BLEND

This delicate blend is the perfect complement to vegetable dishes, and a great recipe for learning to roast your own spices and mill your own blends.  Mace adds a slight sweetness and a warm fragrance that gives the blend its name.

3   3-inch-long sticks Ceylon cinnamon, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
2   teaspoons Ceylon cardamom
1   teaspoon Ceylon cloves
1   teaspoon blades of Ceylon mace

roasting

  • In a dry skillet over low heat, roast cinnamon pieces until dark brown and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer to small bowl.
  • Repeat roasting process with remaining spices in separate batches, transferring roasted spices to same bowl and allowing to cool.

milling

  • Add all roasted spices to mill and grind to fine powder. (See milling instructions)
  • Transfer Fragrant Garam Masala to airtight container and store indefinitely in cool, dark, dry place.

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Peppers and Cauliflower

Made with Fragrant Garam Masala

Serving Suggestions:  Steamed rice or Indian flatbreads, such as naan or chapatis, are appropriate accompaniments to this dish.

With it’s millions of mostly vegetarian Hindus, India has a long tradition of exciting meatless dishes, many of which have been adopted by Americans looking to enliven their own vegetarian diets. Here’s a great addition to the repertoire.

SERVES 4

Ingredients: 

1/4    cup vegetable oil
   1    tablespoon black mustard seeds
   1    large onion, sliced
   2    garlic cloves, crushed
   2    green chilies, finely chopped
   1    cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2    teaspoon Ceylon turmeric
   1    teaspoon Fragrant Garam Masala (see recipe above)
1/4    cup water
   1    red bell pepper, cored, seeds removed, sliced
   1    green bell pepper, cored, seeds removed, sliced.
   1    tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preparations:

  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Add mustard seeds; cover pan with lid or splatter screen and heat until seeds have popped.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, chilies and cauliflower; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in turmeric and Fragant Garam Masala and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to low, add water, cover and cook until cauliflower is almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add peppers and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro. Serve.

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