Archive for the 'Garam masala challenge' Category

Crock Pot-Luck

I am always down for a good potluck, and how could I refuse this ultimate of potlucks…Crock Pot style?!

The premise is simple – whatever you bring has to have been made in a crock pot. 

jodie and JK

YUMMY!  The one on the top is a Taiwanese pork soup with bok choy and tea eggs (hard-boiled) made by Jodie.

The pot on the bottom holds a spicy meatball filling – that went with yummy soft bread buns and cheese.  Jessica made this one.


Mike made a coca-cola chicken dish.  A few simple ingredients…and a really delish dish.


And I opted for a Chicken Tikka Masala dish.  It’s incredibly easy to make (as long as you have all the ingredients) and was super tasty.  It let me use some of my still massive bag of garam masala!

GMC #3: Chicken with green curry sauce

I’m continuing my quest to try new recipes that call for garam masala and thus, will allow me to use up my huge bag of this spice.  (Click on the links to read about Garam Masala Challenge 1 and 2)

I can thank the Food Network, specifically Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller, for my GMC #3.  I was folding some laundry when my little ears perked up at the sound of “garam masala.”  Instantly, I put the laundry on pause (as opposed to pausing the TV) to see how she was going to use this delicious spice.

So I bring you…well, actually, I direct to you…Robin Miller’s Chicken with green curry sauce.  It’s super easy to make, quite tasty, and in a pinch…is fairly Thai tasting (in that very Americanized Thai sort of way).

Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the steps when I made it…but seriously, just follow the recipe and you’re good to go.  I just put it over plain white rice, but be as fancy pants as you like.

Hint: Always read the reviews on any recipe – often times reader’s will suggest great alternatives or additions to make the recipe even better.  Or, if there are only 1 or 2 stars…skip it and search for something else!

GMC #2: Spiced Pork Stew-Indian Style

Ah…finally, I have successfully completed my second submission to my GMC (Garam Masala Challenge).  Go ahead and click here if you don’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about.

I’ve been scouting my favorite recipe website, looking for Indian recipes that are a) not too difficult and b) use garam masala.  It’s a little tough.  Seriously, I  have a new found appreciation for Indian restaurants/cooks.  So much of their delicious foods – do require a lot of ingredients and work (in my opinion). 

I happened to find this week’s recipe using the “old-fashion” way – Google.  I had most of the ingredients on hand already.  And it didn’t seem too difficult.  However, I did have to change it up a little – since the recipe never actually called for garam masala.  Oops.  :-)  But it did call for ALL the individual spices that make up garam masala…so why not use a shortcut? 🙂

For the original recipe, go here.

I started with a slew of spices – one of course being garam masala.


And then I blended up a bunch of spices, garlic, vinegar, sugar, etc. into a paste – which I let some cubed pork loin pieces marinate in.


I fried up the marinated pork pieces in batches.


And then combined cubed potatoes, diced tomatoes, the partially cooked pork, and chicken broth.  Oh, I also threw in a few handfuls of frozen green garbanzo beans.  Eh…why not?


Let it simmer for an hour or so, and you get this Indianish-pork stew kind of thing.  I served with some fresh cilantro on top.   


I realize, it really doesn’t look all that special, but it definitely tasted good.  I ate mine as a stew/soup, while Micah ate his over rice.

GMC #2 – check!

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.

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