Don’t fear the garam masala

So Micah and I live about 1.5 miles away from this awesome foreign foods grocery store (HT Mart on Aurora).  We’ve gone a couple times now and are just in awe of the amazing selection of ethnic foods they have – to name a few: Korean (yay!), Thai, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Singaporean, Russian, Mexican, even lots of “American” options.  It’s really fun to just browse the aisles and look at all the foods and buy all the (much cheaper) produce.

They also have a decent selection of Indian foods, spices, etc.  I love Indian food, but have always been intimidated/afraid/totally clueless cooking it.  (Unless of course you count heating up pre-packaged Trader Joes Paneer and heating up some naan.) 

I for some reason was compelled to buy this ridiculously large package of garam masala.  Ok, so garam masala is a basic blend of ground spices common to India and some other Asian places.  I think most tend to associate it’s flavor and aroma with Indian cuisine.  It’s a cool spice blend – but uh…what do you do with this nearly one pound bag of it?

I must find ways to use you! 


Commence my new garam masala challenge.  I plan to whittle my way to the very last essence of this bag by making new and delicious recipes each week – or every other week – that include this wonderful blend. 

Last week was my first GMC (ahem…garam masala challenge).  I found this delightfully simple, 5-ingredient recipe that featured none other than our friend GM (ahem…garam masala).  :-)  It really was super easy to make.  I paired it with some naan (thank you HT mart), but you could also pair it with some rice.

Original recipe (with video) found here.  Or follow along below and see my pics.

Butter Chickpeas – 5 ingredients, 10 minutes

Serves 2 with rice, or many of my friends when paired with strips of naan

  • 2 Tbl garam masala
  • 1-2 TSP dried red chili flakes (oops…I read that as tablespoon…hot hot hot!)
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas aka garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 1 14oz can whole tomatoes (best) or diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 Tbl cream
  • Olive oil

1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat, along with garam masala and chili flakes – about 30 seconds.

2. Add drained chickpeas and stir around for another minute or so.

3. Add tomatoes and their juices and bring to a fast simmer/low boil.

4. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and using wooden spoon or fork to break up the tomato pieces.

5. When the sauce has reduced a little, stir in the cream (to taste).  Season with some salt if needed.  VOILA!


P.S. It’s best to go into this simple recipe armed with the knowledge of what’s a tablespoon and what’s a teaspoon. 🙂

Seriously, I put two HUGE heaping tablespoons of red chili flakes in.  I love some heat, but I know it was a little hot to handle.  My friends did seem to love it though.

1 Response to “Don’t fear the garam masala”

  1. 1 Crock Pot-Luck « Much Ado About Lisa Trackback on December 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

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