Tag Archives: Garam Masala

Wrap it up

With all of the awesome cookbooks I received for Christmas, they each have had quite a few curry recipes. As you know, I’m trying to expand my curry, and specifically Indian food palate. So, when I saw this West Indian Styled Channa Wrap in my The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel, I couldn’t wait to make it. I was planning to make this on a Thursday night, but per the usual, I didn’t look at the actual recipe instructions, and realized it took about a half hour to simmer. So, I abandoned ship, but came back on Saturday night to try it as I had just a bit more time on my hands.

This was actually the first time working with fresh ginger. My dad doesn’t like the taste of ginger, so growing up it was never included in any meals we had, let alone in the house. So, up until now my ginger relationship has been solely through sushi. As soon as I peeled it and started slicing, I was in love – it just smells so good!

The recipe calls for madras curry, but I don’t have any. I read online somewhere though that you can simply add some red pepper (cayenne) to regular yellow curry instead. This was too boring for me, so I substituted it with garam masala, the mystery spice I found a few months ago after scouring the Asian food market. Aside from cutting the recipe in half (all the ingredients and cook time) and using 10 inch tortillas instead of 8 (we always have 10 inch in the house, since we’re burrito fiends), I followed the recipe.

If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, I would omit the hot pepper suggestion. I added a jalapeno, and let me tell you, it was SPICY! The cookbook itself says it’s a 4 out of 5 on their spicy scale, so keep that in mind. But it wasn’t unbearable, and still really enjoyable. If it winds up being a bit too spicy, try and add a little bit of white sugar. It sounds weird, but I promise it works!

West-Indian Style Channa Wrap – via The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook
– Serves 8 –

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups diced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 chile pepper of choice, seeded
1 (2 x 1-inch) hunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp curry powder (Madras- style)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp salt
2 (15-oz) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 package of 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Directions:
1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chile pepper, and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spices and salt, and stir well. You’ll end up with a paste.
2. Add chickpeas, plus enough water to barely cover (at least 3 cups). Bring to a lively simmer, then lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 50 to 60 minutes. You’re looking for very soft chickpeas with a thick gravy, not soup.
3. Taste for salt and season accordingly.
4. Place a few tablespoons of channa inside  a warmed tortilla. Also great over rice!

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Spicy takes on a whole new meaning: Curry Udon Stir-Fry

I’ll be the first to try something spicy. It takes a lot for me to really think something is spicy, and even more for me to have it be at an unbearable level. Well, my friends, I may have met my match last night.

While grocery shopping last weekend, I scoured the asiles for a red chile. When ShopRite came up empty handed (no surprise there), I picked up a bag of Jamaican hot peppers, and hoped for the best. The bag itself gives no indication on what type of peppers they are, but there was some red, green, and orange, so I figured I would just use one of the red ones in the bag. I needed the pepper for a recipe I had found last week on Serious Eats, a Curry Udon Stir-Fry. The recipe has a great combination of Indian, Thai, and Japanese flavors that work really well together. The recipe also called for Garam Masala, which I realized is really just a combination of spices. After talking with a co-worker, she told me I should just look up a recipe and make it myself, since everyone makes it differently, and while they sell it mixed, it’s best fresh. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any cardamom, so the Garam Masala was out. It was still really great though!

It was an easy recipe, but required a lot of attention – quite a few things were going on at once (making the roux, sautéing the vegetables, cooking the noodles). But if you don’t mind multitasking and trying to keep everything going, you’ll be fine! I also had the luxury of using my newest obsession, thanks to Shelby over at Eat, Drink, Run. I’ve been on the prowl for a decent online recipe cataloging-styled system lately, and she suggested KartMe. Well my friends, so far, so good! I currently have two categories of carts – Dinner Recipes and Baking/Dessert Recipes, but you can make carts and lists of anything. I’m a fan!

So a word to the wise would probably be to not buy a random bag of hot peppers if you don’t want to sweat during your meal. However, if you’re like myself and my fiancé and think that’s fun, then go for it! We sweat throughout our meal, had stinging tongues and lips, and actually grabbed some milk (a first for both of us). My stomach was warm for quite a few hours afterwards also. But it was definitely worth it. Maybe next time I’ll use half of the pepper, though. Now that I have an entire bag of hot peppers, I guess I should start scouring the internet for some yummy recipes I can throw into my KartMe list. Any suggestions are welcome!

Curry Udon Stir-Fry
– Serves 2-3 –
Adapted from The Kitchn.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound fresh udon
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 red bell pepper, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 hot red chile, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 pound broccoli florets, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon according to the directions on the packaging. Drain, and then rinse well under cold water.
2. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the flour. Stir well, and cook until the roux browns, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the curry powder and garam masala to the roux, cook for another minute. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock. Continue whisking, and add the sugar. When the sauce is thick, turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside.
4. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Then add the ginger, red bell pepper, and chile. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Add the udon noodles to the pan. cook for about a minute, and then pour in the soy sauce. Cook for a minute.
6. Whisk in the remaining vegetable broth with the curry roux. Pour this sauce into the pan with the noodles. Stir well, and cook for another minute or so, until warm.

So today I’m going to leave you with a question: Do you like spicy foods? What’s the spiciest food/meal you’ve ever had?

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Filed under Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan