Sunday, November 15, 2020

Garam Masala

 Like I said in my previous post, not everyone has garam masala sitting among their spices. I didn't. However, I had most of the spices needed, so I mixed up my own, then kept the leftover for my next garam masala dish. 


1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp ground mace


Mix all of the spices together. Cover tightly and store until needed. I didn't have all of the spices ground, so I ground some of my own spices for this mix. For example, I had fennel seeds, but not ground fennel. So, I just ground up some fennel seeds and added it to the mix. 

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Freshly ground spices will keep for several months. Smell your spices - if they don't smell of any spice, they may be old and need to be replaced. 

Shrimp Tikka Masala


I recently made a sweet potato tikka masala from a food kit, and was reminded how much I like the combination of spices and flavors of Indian food. So, when I decided to make my own masala, I found that I had shrimp on hand, plus a few other vegetables, and came up with this recipe. It includes more vegetables than most masalas, unless of course, they're vegetarian. It also uses coconut milk instead of  the more traditional yogurt and cream, so it is dairy free. It passed my family's taste test, which means there were requests for left overs. 


10 Shrimp
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbs tomato paste

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced lengthwise, then cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1 Anaheim chili, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1/2 red or orange pepper, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, minced
1/2 cup lowfat coconut milk
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp sea salt 

1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbs Thai basil, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 cup Jasmine or Brown Rice


Mix the lime juice through the tomato paste together in a bowl. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

Cook the rice. 

Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil and 1 tsp of the butter in a non stick skillet. Add the shrimp and cook about 3 minutes per side, until they begin to lose their pink color and turn opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Heat the second tsp of olive oil and butter in the same pan. Add the onion, celery, chili, and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, along with the tumeric and cumin and cook an additional minute. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk, along with the garam masala and red curry paste. Bring to a low simmer. Add the shrimp back to the pan, then taste the masala. Add salt if needed. 

To serve, spoon 1/2 cup of rice onto each of 2 plates, then top with half of the masala. Sprinkle some of the green onion, basil, and cilantro on top of each serving. 

Serves 2, easily doubled

Stealthy Cooking Tip: The food kit I used came from a home food delivery company called Purple Carrot, and it was delicious! I like that they send exactly the amount of each ingredient that is needed. After all, not everyone has 1/2 cup of coconut milk, or garam masala sitting on their shelf. I also like that they are plant based! It's always fun to try something new!