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Dry Masalas By Mai Harinder Kaur

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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I propose to put in here a whole bunch of spice mixtures I have developed over the years, primarily as substitutes for the dreadful things you buy premixed in stores, expensive and stale and full of salt. I hope others will also add any personal masalas they have come up with, too.

Two characteristics of my masalas. No salt and no heat. Salt is better added at the time of cooking for the individual dish and also many people control their sodium intake. This way you can use as much seasoning as you like and still keep the sodium down. Heat preferences are very individual and so I leave those to the individual. Personally, I usually like to use fresh chillies anyway.

So, my first and by far the most intimidating.


MAI'S CRAZY MASALA

(I am not yelling. I just find this much easier to read in caps. Go figure.)

(KIND OF BASED ON A BENGALI TANDOORI MIXTURE) – MY HUSBAND HAS THE NERVE TO CALL THIS MY CURRY POWDER. ONLY HE CAN GET AWAY WITH SUCH DISRESPECT.

I HAVE HAD PEOPLE BEG ME FOR THIS RECIPE AND I HAVE ALWAYS REFUSED TO PART WITH IT. YOU GUYS HERE ARE SPECIAL TO ME, THOUGH, SO HERE IT IS.

PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS IN A HURRY. IT TOOK YEARS, POSSIBLY MILLENIA, TO DEVELOP. (MY NAME IS ON IT ONLY BECAUSE I'M EGOTISTICAL - AND AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO ONE ELSE HAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN IT DOWN. I LEARNED IT FROM MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WHO WAS KASHMIRI, NOT BENGALI.)
I ADMIT THIS PARTICULAR RECIPE MAY SEEM A BIT INTIMIDATING, BUT IF YOU DO IT JUST STEP BY STEP, IT’S NOT HARD.

HAVE ENOUGH RESPECT TO TAKE THE LITTLE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT. IT IS BETTER TO USE A HAND GRINDER AS THE ELECTRIC ONES TEND TO HEAT THE SPICES. BUT WHO HAS A HAND SPICE GRINDER TODAY? OK, IF YOU MUST, USE YOUR COFFEE GRINDER. BUT MAKE SURE IT'S SPOTLESSLY CLEAN.

SAY A LITTLE PRAYER AND BEGIN:

WHOLE SPICES:
6 PARTS WHOLE FENUGREEK SEEDS (METHI)
1 PART CORIANDER SEEDS
1 PART CUMIN
1 PART BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS
1 PART YELLOW MUSTARD SEEDS
1 PART KALONJI (NIGELLA) SEEDS
1 PART WHITE PEPPER
ROAST TOGETHER IN DRY SKILLET OVER LOW HEAT UNTIL FRAGRANT. CAREFUL, THOUGH! FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T BURN THEM!!!!! BURNT METHI SEEDS ARE INEDIBLE.

-->THIS MIXTURE, UNGROUND, CAN BE KEPT FOR QUITE SOME TIME

LET COOL, THEN GRIND TO A POWDER

PREPARE THE GROUND SPICES SEPARATELY:
2 PARTS GARAM MASALA ( OR LESS TO TASTE)*
1 PART MILD CHILI POWDER (THIS IS FOR FLAVOUR, NOT HEAT)
1 PART POWDERED GINGER
1-2 PARTS TURMERIC
2 PARTS DRIED CURRY LEAVES, GROUND*
2 PARTS DRIED OR POWDERED GARLIC
2 PARTS DRIED FLAKED OR POWDERED ONION
1 PART DRIED, POWDERED LEMON GRASS*

ROAST VERY BRIEFLY TOGETHER, JUST ENOUGH TO GET RID OF RAW, BITTER TASTE

COOL AND MIX WITH WHOLE SPICES, NOW GROUND.

THEN MIX IN 1/2 TO 1 PART POWDERED ASAFOETIDA (HING) THIS MIXTURE IS NOT SPICY HOT. I PREFER TO USE FRESH CHILLIES WHEN I COOK. YOU COULD, OF COURSE, ADD YOUR HEAT OF CHOICE BUT I PREFER NOT.

KEEP IN THE REFRIGERATOR AS LONG AS THE SPICES STAY FRESH. IT CAN ALSO BE FROZEN. (IN OUR HOUSE, IT NEVER LASTS LONG)

TO USE: WHEN I USE IT, I FIRST CARAMELISE IN AN ALMOST DRY SKILLET (ONLY A TINY BIT OF OIL OR COOKING SPRAY) - WITH PLENTY OF VENTILATION - A COMBINATION OF FINELY CHOPPED FRESH OR DRIED SERRANO, THAI AND HABANERO PEPPERS, USUALLY ALONG WITH SOME FRESH ONIONS. (WHEN MADE THIS WAY, IT WILL EAT THE SKIN OFF THE ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH AND LEAVE YOU WHIMPERING LIKE A WHIPPED PUPPY FOR QUITE SOME TIME. THIS FEELING CAN BE ENHANCED AND PROLONGED BY FRYING THE CHILIES IN CHINESE HOT PEPPER OIL*.) MAKE IT AS HOT OR AS MILD AS YOU LIKE.

ONCE THE FRESH INGREDIENTS ARE PROPERLY CARAMELISED ADD AS MUCH OF THE MASALA AS YOU LIKE BRIEFLY WITH THE CHILIES, BEING CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE SPICES. BURNT HALDI/TURMERIC IS INEDIBLY BITTER AS IS BURNT GARLIC.

USE AS A SEASONING/SAUCE FOR JUST ABOUT ANYTHING - NOODLES, VEGGIES, TOFU, MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD.

THE DRY MIXTURE CAN BE USED AS A DRY RUB OR - FOR THE FAINT OF HEART - MIXED WITH CURD (YOGURT).

-->NOTE - IT MUST BE COOKED. I ONCE TRIED SPRINKLING IT ON AFTER COOKING. ONCE.

*THESE ARE BEST PREPARED BY YOU AT HOME USING YOUR FAVOURITE METHOD.
 

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Mai Harinder Kaur

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
1,755
2,733
69
British Columbia, Canada
Re: Dry masalas

TACO SEASONING

Ingredients
12 parts mild chili powder
10 parts paprika
5 parts ground cumin
6 parts dried onion flakes or powder
5 parts garlic powder


--> Be sure to use pure chilli powder not some sort of mixture.

-->There is no salt in this recipe. Add salt to your own preference.

-->There is no heat in this recipe. Add cayenne paper or use fresh chillies when cooking to your own taste.

Store in a closed jar, preferably in the refrigerator.

To use: Just add to whatever you're using as your main ingredient as you cook it. Traditionally, meat is used. I usually use crumbled tofu or shaitan. I especially like this with black beans.

I have also used it in soups and white sauce (white is no longer white, of course) over vegetables, rice or toast.
 

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Mai Harinder Kaur

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Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
1,755
2,733
69
British Columbia, Canada
BAHARAT

A North African/Middle East Masala

with the mint, it becomes Turkish.

Ingredients
6 parts freshly ground black pepper
6 parts freshly ground cumin
6 parts paprika
3 parts dried mint leaves, optional
3 parts freshly ground coriander seeds
3 parts freshly ground cloves
1 part freshly ground nutmeg
1 part ground cinnamon
1 part freshly ground green cardamom

This is used with everything from meats and vegetables to all sorts of grains. It can even be mixed with butter (dairy or nut) and used as a spread.

--> You can use packaged ground spices, but it won"t be nearly as good as grinding the spices fresh.

--> As usual, I have omitted salt.
 

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Mai Harinder Kaur

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
1,755
2,733
69
British Columbia, Canada
Hehehe I just meant Mirch as in this image: http://www.indianmommy.com/recipes/spices/Red Chilli.jpg

Also people suggest not to use mustard sauce but dry mustard powder in food.

We always called those "red devils." They are especially tasty when cooked until black. Have a wonderful, nutty favour. A bit hot, though.

Prepared mustard from the store is dreadful and not at all difficult to make at home.

When needed I grind mustard seeds fresh. I really do not like powdered spices bought ion the store. They never taste quite right.
 

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