Category Archives: Bawa Bhonu – Parsi Food

The Malabar Soup

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The Malabar soup has an audacious attitude, rich in flavor it brings the taste of India home.

Add a dollop of cream and this recipe turns into a little piece of rich paradise but in an effort to keep the weight off I used coconut milk instead and it has changed the way I will make this soup forever.

A Note for all my vegan friends I would substitute chicken with any or a combination of the vegetables below. Take your pick.

  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Drumsticks
  • Cauliflower
  • Brinjal/ Eggplant
  • Ladyfingers

Ingredients

  • Chopped Boneless Chicken Breast – 1 Pc.
  • Tandoori  Masala Powder  – 1 Tbsp.
  • Ground Cashew Powder  – 2 Tbsps.
  • Garlic Ginger Paste – ½ Tsp.
  • Onion – 1 Chopped
  • Lal Masala Paste – 1 Tbsp.
  • Coconut Milk – 1½  Cup’s

Method

  • Fry the onions in 2 Tsp. of oil, then add the ginger garlic paste.
  • Add the Lal Masala Paste,Tandoori Masala Powder; Stir the ingredients so that all the masala blends with the onions
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  • Next add the chicken and cook for 5 – 7 minutes on a medium flame
  • (Do not cover the dish)
  • Next add the cashew powder and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Next 1 Tbsp. at a time, add the coconut milk and stir gently after every addition.
  • Continue to cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes or till the chicken has cooked.
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Halloween Cooking – Chicken Gizzard and Heart Curry

Happy weekend everyone, I have been thinking of gruesome dishes to make for Halloween. My Birthday is the day after and I am always planning a crazy looking cake or a scary theme to celebrate with but this year I don’t have any friends around so instead I am spending time coming up with a creative idea on how to create some scary looking meals.

This crazy curry is in honor of all my friends who always played along with my whims and fancies, dressed up for me at my parties and have been an awesome part of my life. Cant wait to see all of them again.

Here is a small preview of the craziness we used to come up with

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This recipe maybe a little scary at first but is also the most delicious and simple curry I have ever made in my entire life and the secret ingredient is without doubt the Gizzard itself. My love for Gizzard goes back a long way so when I found a whole tray of them and no one to share it with. I simply just ate them all.

Ingredients:-

  • Gizzard and Heart Uncooked – 1 Lb.
  • Onions  – 2 Finely chopped
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – ½ Bunch
  • Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 Tsp.
  • Coriander powder – 1 Tsp.
  • Cumin Powder – 1 Tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ Tsp.
  • Kitchen King Masala – 1 Tsp.
  • Green Chilies – 2 Finely chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2 Chopped
  • Potatoes – 2 Optional

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Method:-

  • In a pressure cooker add a little oil and brown chopped onions.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and stir gently for 2 minutes.
  • Next add the coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder.
  • When all the masala is dry add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add the Kitchen King masala and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the Gizzard/Heart and cook for 2 whistles in the pressure cooker.
  • Add fresh chopped coriander leaves.

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This is not a curry you eat with rice….

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Akoori – Scrambled Eggs Bawa Style

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Summer is leaving me‼… it makes me sad to see the sun go down so quickly.

It’s a Sunday afternoon, the day I hate most of all. I am hovering around in my kitchen trying to find something summery to fill in my belly at dinner tonight.

At home my dad would have dialed the cooks in the kitchen and said “baby ke liye toasty banao.”

For my Gora friends that translates ‘make a grilled sandwich for my little one.’

But, on a day that I was feeling like the way I am feeling today my daddy would go into the kitchen himself and make me a special fry…

What’s a special fry?

It’s a fried egg with so many rules and regulations that I don’t have the audacity to make without the master himself by my side and hopefully on my next trip home I will have some pictures to show you…

So in my dilemma and me missing my dada like crazy I have no choice but to make an alternate.

Mind you, while the special fry is my favorite, the Akoori is my dad’s and I can’t wait for him to be here so I can cook for him again.

Akoori is a Parsi specialty, spiced scrambled eggs with onions and coriander leaves and a ton of love.

Yes, a ton of love is the real special ingredient you need when you are working with eggs. A few seconds here and they aren’t quite there and a few seconds more and my darlings, I am sorry to say you’ve lost the plot completely.

 

Ingredients:-

  • Eggs – 4 scrambled in a bowl with a little salt
  • Onions – 1 chopped
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder – ½ Tsp.
  • Haldi/Turmeric Powder – !/2 Tsp.
  • Tomato – 1 chopped
  • Green Chili – 1 chopped
  • Garlic – 2 finely chopped
  • Coriander Leaves – to garnish

 

Method

  • Fry the garlic and the chilies in a little oil.
  • Add the onions and fry till golden
  • Onions
  • Add the Haldi and Chili powder and let that cook on an open flame for a few minutes
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  • When the onion and spices are dry add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook till the tomatoes are soft and well blended into the dish
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  • Slowly add the eggs into the mixture and reduce heat stirring continuously to make sure no lumps form.
  • Add the coriander leaves.
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  • Once you have brought the eggs to the consistency you like pull it off the hot stove.
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  • Serve with cheese and ham. My favorite pairing  is Mini Babybel Cheese and  “The Maple Glazed Boars Head Ham”.
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  • Enjoy.

 

 

Saving The World 1 Cabbage At A Time

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While the country is celebrating the Labor Day weekend and grilling in their backyard. I am busy finding healthier options to reduce the 10 Pounds of extra weight I have so generously received unto myself.

I grew up learning the phrase “Eat And Be Merry, For Tomorrow Is Another Day To Eat”, and the person who taught me that (You Know Who You Are!!)….dint say anything about putting on any weight. It was repeated at every toast and with every host, the words ringing in my head.

” Eat Today, Eat Tomorrow, Eat Everyday…”

So this weekend while everybody is busy grilling and flavoring their meat, I have decided that I am going to spend time and find a healthier vegan alternate. My Food of Choice is the infamous cancer preventing and cholesterol lowering cabbage, who would have known sautéing a little cabbage could have so many healthy benefits. It has been proved in a number of studies that raw or short cooked cabbage has the ability to prevent bladder, colon and prostrate cancers. People at risk might want to include this vegetable in their diet 3-4 times a week.

I like my cabbage a little crunchy and without too many spices, below is my easy 10 minute recipe.

Ingredients:-
– Cabbage – 1/2 thinly sliced
– Jeera /Cumin Seeds – 1 Tsp.
– Rye/Mustard Seeds – 1 Tsp.
– Fresh Curry Leaves – 1 Stalk
– Green Chili – 1 Sliced
– Oil – 2 Tsp.
– Salt – To Taste

Method:-
– Heat oil in a pan, (make sure the oil is hot).
– Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and green chili, sauté for a few minutes.
– Next, add the curry leaves.
– Finally add the cabbage and sauté it in a wok on a high flame.
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– Do not cover the cabbage, allow it to cook on an open flame.
– Eat with Bread or Roti.

Cooking For The Parsi New Year – Dal Chawal and Prawn Patia

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Navroze Mubarak Bawaji’s, It’s that time of the year when all Parsis from all over the world celebrate their New Year and what better way to celebrate such an auspicious day than with delicious Dal Chawal and Kolmi Na Patia.

For all those who are trying to interpret my gibberish Dal is a staple dish made from curried lentils sautéed with garlic and spices and eaten with rice. However, this dish is incomplete without the right amount of Kolmi Na Patia, (Kolmi) Prawns in a tomato based sweet and spicy gravy.

Dal Chawal (Rice) and Kolmi Na Patia is always eaten on a happy day. So what better way to start the New Year than with this recipe?

Recipe for Dal

  • Toovar Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas – 2 Cups
  • Garlic – 3 Pods Finely Chopped
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder / Haldi – 1 tsp
  • Salt – To Taste

Method

  • Soak the toovar dal/split pigeon peas in water for 2 hours till the dal swells up.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt to the dal and pressure cook it for up to four whistles.
  • Remember to allow the pressure cooker to cool down completely before opening.
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  • Once cooled mash the dal and strain it using a strainer.
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  • In small dish heat some oil and add cumin seeds, garlic and Kashmiri Chili powder.
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  • Add it to the strained and mashed dal and allow it to simmer for 15 min on a medium flame.
  • If the dal is too thick add some water.
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Recipe for Prawn Patia

Ingredients

  • Lal Masala – 4 tbsp.
  • Haldi/ Turmeric powder – 3/4th tsp.
  • Sāmbhar Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Tomatoes – 3 chopped
  • Onions – 5 (Chopped)
  • Medium sized Pcs of Gaud/Jaggery cut into thin slices (cuts best with a serrated knife) – 2
  • Tamarind Paste  – 2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • In a bowl, mix the tamarind paste with warm water and add the jaggery. Allow it to sit for 1 hour.
  • Fry chopped onions till golden.
  • Add the lal masala, haldi powder, sambhar powder and allow it to cook for 10 min on a high flame.
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  • Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 min till all the tomato is blended well.  Add prawns and reduce flame
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  • Once the prawns are cooked add the jaggery and tamarind paste.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Remember to always eat Patia with Dal and Chawal
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Kheema Pulao – Meal Fit For A King

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Today’s recipe is one from my list of Party Favorites. You see, I enjoy eating most when I have a lot of people to feed; I was somehow brought up like that. I simply love company and I am most definitely picky about presentation.

Back home in India, parties meant that the fine china was brought out a day in advance, washed, cleaned and hand dried to make sure there was not a spot on any of the cutlery. The table was covered with a beautiful embroidered tablecloth and everything simply felt like a dream.

However, when you no longer live in your parents house and have no help to wash the dishes; the intricacies of organizing a party somewhat disappears. Entertaining friends for dinner and serving them in plastic plates would give my mother a seizure, yet as long as she’s not around or reading my post I think, I will always win her favor.

Today’s party recipe is Kheema Pulao, the reason I chose this recipe is because my last post was a Kheema recipe. This dish is extremely simple and looks gorgeous when placed upon the table. This Kheema Pulao should stuff four big eaters but requires a round baking dish.

I always like keeping a little extra Kheema on the side when serving this dish on the table.

Ingredients

1½ Cup boiled basmati rice
3/4th Cup clotted cream
½ Cup curd
2. Potatoes cut into large pieces and fried
2. Hard boiled eggs cut into pieces
Cooked Kheema – Click here for Recipe

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For Yellow Rice

Half portion of the boiled white rice
1 tsp. Saffron
2 Pcs. Lemon Juice
3 tbsp. of Hot water

Method

In a small bowl add 1 teaspoon of saffron and the juice of two lemons, to this add 3 tablespoons of hot water and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Divide the boiled rice into two portions, in one portion add the clotted cream and in the other add the saffron mixture.

Layer a baking dish with the creamed rice
Next, layer the dish with kheema. Don’t forget to be generous
Add a layer of curd then the potatoes and eggs before covering it all up with the yellow rice.
Cover the dish with silver foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350

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Kheema Chawal

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Eaten hot on a cold rainy day, kheema is essentially an important element to many other recipes but tastes just as good eaten plain. Kheema also known as minced meat, is a traditional south Asian dish that can be prepared in a large range of varieties with any type of meat (chicken, mutton, beef). This dish can be eaten as is with yellow rice, bread, roti, paratha’s or even noodles and pasta.

The most important part of preparing kheema is washing the meat. I usually put all my kheema in a netted utensil/ strainer and wash it under warm water till the kheema washes out clean and without any blood. I know of so many people who don’t wash their Kheema but I think it’s really unhealthy to not do so, washing the kheema also prevents lumps from forming while cooking.

Ingredients For Kheema

1 lb. Minced meat (Chicken – Mutton – Beef)
2 pcs. Bay leaves
3-4 Cloves
2 pcs. Cinnamon sticks
4-5 Whole pepper corns
1 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
3/4 Tsp. Ginger garlic paste
2 Green chili’s washed and slit in the center
1/2 Cup tomato puree or ketchup
3 Tbs. Lal Masala
2 Medium sized onions
Salt to taste
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Ingredients For Yellow Rice

2 Cups White basmati rice
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Method For Kheema

-Wash the minced meat in a strainer till the water runs clear of blood
-Fry the onions in 1 tsp. of oil, add the ginger garlic paste and kashmiri chili powder

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-Next add the Lal Masala and cook for 5 min on a medium flame
-Add the kheema and cook covered for five minutes
-Pour the tomato puree and add green chili’s, stir and cook for another five minutes
-Now add the dry spices – bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon sticks and whole pepper corns and continue cooking the meat for twenty-five minutes stirring occasionally
– Add salt to taste

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Method for Yellow Rice

– Soak 2 cups of white basmati rice in water for 1 hour and wash the rice draining all the starch from the water
– Add the soaked rice to 6 cups of boiling water
– Next add 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder and salt
– Add a 1/2 tsp. of olive oil to the water and boil covered for 3-4 minutes
– Cook partially covered for another 12- 15 minutes and immediately drain out the excess water
– Allow the yellow rice to cool in a perforated utensil

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Gateway to Heaven – Finally Dhansak on a plate

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Dhansak is a Parsee specialty, for those of you who don’t know it’s a combination of different lentils cooked with either chicken or mutton or potatoes. You will never find it at a wedding and it will never be made on a auspicious day i.e: Happy BirthDay, Happy Anniversary Day, Buy Anything New Day or any other Happy Day..You would think that was crazy because it is one of the best meals on the recipe list and is specially dedicated to the dead.

When someone dies the family becomes vegetarian for the first three days. Tradition holds that on the fourth day when they do eat meat its always in Dhansak. Due to its untimely association with death Dhansak is considered mourning food.

Dhansak is eaten with caramelized basmati rice, a blob of butter and some sliced onions soaked in vinegar and lime. Adding some minced Kebab’s would turn this meal into a Funday paradise.

Note for all vegan’s – Skip adding meat and add potatoes instead

Ingredients

For Dal

250gms Toovar Dal / Yellow Pigeon Peas

100gms Whole Masoor Dal / Red Lentils

50gms Split Masoor Dal / Split Red Lentils

100gms Moong Dal / Split Green Gram

(All the above soaked for 1-3 hours)

200gms Baingan / Aubergine / Eggplant chopped

100gms Koru / Red Pumpkin chopped

1/2tsp of Salt

1/2tsp of Turmeric

1/2tsp Red Kashmiri Chili Powder

1 Tomato chopped

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For Dhansak Masala

1tsp Turmeric Powder

1tsp Sambhar Masala

1tsp Chili Powder

1tsp Dhana Jeera / Cumin-Coriander Powder

1/2tsp Pepper Powder

(Dhansak Masala is available at a local Indian store and can be substituted for the above masalas – Add 2Tbsp of Dhansak Masala in case of substitution)

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For Dhansak

2tbsp. Parsi Lal Masala

2 Onions finely chopped

Chicken pieces

The Dhansak Masala

Tamarind Paste diluted in 1/4th cup of warm water

2″ block of Jaggery thinly chopped

For Caramelized Rice

1 cup of White Basmati Rice

1 Onion Chopped

4pc Whole Peppercorn

1pc Cinnamon stick

2-3 Cloves

2-3 Cardamoms

1-2 Bay Leaf

4tbsp Brown/White Sugar

1/2 cup of water

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Method

For Dhansak Dal

– Pressure cook all the soaked dal with some salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, eggplant, green pumpkin and tomato with 2 cups of water, for 4 whistles.

-Allow the pressure cooker to cool completely before opening the lid.

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– Once cooled strain the dal to a smooth paste.

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For Dhansak

– In another dish fry the onions and add the Lal Masala and Dhansak Masala, allow the masala to cook for 4-5 minutes.

– Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.

– Next, add the chicken and stir till slightly browned.

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– Pour in the dal and allow to cook for 20 min.

– Gently add the Tamarind paste and the Jaggery, stir in to allow the Jaggery to melt.

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For Caramelized Dhansak Rice

– Soak 1 cup of White Basmati Rice in warm water for 1 hour then, wash the rice 2 – 3 times.

– In a pan fry the chopped onion (use very little oil) and add the drained rice, allow the rice to simmer on a medium flame till the aroma of rice fills the air.

Rice prep

– In the meanwhile on another small pan heat sugar till it is completely melted and turns to a dark brown.

– Immediately add 1/2 a cup of water into the melted sugar. Take a step back and be careful while doing this step. I usually add water above my sink to prevent my kitchen from the splatter.

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Note :-

– I use Demerara Sugar that is why I can achieve this dark color. White sugar tastes just as good but do not burn white sugar to such a dark color.

– If the sugar gets stuck on your spoon just leave it in the water mixture and allow it to heat. The sugar will melt of the spoon automatically.

– Next, add sugar water to the simmering rice and stir once gently.

– Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves and salt,

– Next immediately add 2 cups of warm water.

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– Cook the rice covered on a medium flame for 5 min, then lift the top and allow it to simmer open so that the water can evaporate. cook for another 10 min or till the rice is done.

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– Dhansak Rice must be allowed to sit for 10 minutes before eating

– Enjoy your Dhansak and don’t forget to snooze….

Tendli Bhaji – Vegetarian Food For The Bawa Soul

Parsi food is notorious for being non-vegetarian, few know that we bawa’s can also whip up awesome vegetarian bhonu. All thanks to the wonderful Gujarati ancestors who let us crash in their kingdom eventually saving us from going extinct centuries ago.

By the way, they are also responsible for our sweet food syndrome and the language we currently use.

For most bawa’s it is difficult to eat a meal without some form of meat or egg, yet I have heard of no bawa who will happily agree to a meal without potatoes. ‘Papeta ma anything’ is the easiest answer to when a bawa is questioned about what he wants to eat.

To all my vegetarian readers, I thank you for being patient and for those bawa friends who love their vegetarIANS – bear with me. This recipe is called Tendli ma Papeta.

Buying and Storage:

Tendli, tindora or ivy gourd should be bright green on the outside with white small seeds on the inside. In order to store it correctly it should be placed in a plastic bag and kept refrigerated.
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Ingredients

– 1 lb Tendli/Ivy Gourd
– 2 Large Potatoes
– 1 tsp. Jeera/Cumin Seeds
– 1 tsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
– ½ tsp Haldi / Turmeric Powder
– 1tsp Rye / Mustard Seeds
– 1 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
– Salt to taste

Method

– Wash the tendli and cut it into medium to thin circular rounds and keep aside.

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– Peel and chop potatoes into small squares, drop them into a bowl of salted water for 10 minutes.
– Drain the potatoes and fry them in a covered pan with very little oil and a dash of haldi.
– In another pan heat some oil then add jeera, dhania and rye.
– Next, add the haldi and kashmiri chili powder, allow this to simmer to 2 – 3 minutes.
– Add the chopped tendli and cook for 20 minutes in a covered pan, mixing the tendli at intervals.
– After 20 minutes, add the potatoes and cook for a further 10 min or until the tendli is cooked.

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The Masala Box – 911 Spicy Kitchen Essentials

 

The masala box also known as the Indian spice box is a handy piece of equipment in any kitchen. Obviously, you can add your choice of spices, which should generally be the ones you use most often. I prefer to only add dry spices to my spice box and keep my saucy masalas each separately in an airtight box in the fridge.

If you are wondering, what you should do with leftover dry spices that don’t fit in the masala box, I would suggest putting them in tiny Ziploc bags and then arranging them individually labeled in a large plastic box, this prevents my refrigerator from catching any odors.

I am also going to share some of the other important ingredients you will want to keep handy in order to set up your own Indian kitchen. I had excellent help setting up mine but for those who don’t, this article should make life much simpler.

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My masala box is simple; it is made of two boxes one with seven small bowls which store most of my powdered spices the other which has three compartments stores ingredients like bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and cloves.

A masala box can be found easily at any Indian grocery store, simply ask for a masala or spice box. While you are at the store, you might want to pick up the ingredients that go with it.

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Below is a list of basic ingredients I believe to be a necessity in my kitchen, you may add or deduct according to your recipes.

Haldi or Turmeric – Used often, it’s the medicinal superstar, add it for some color in food or on a cut or open wound to prevent an infection, even my dentist recommends it for bleeding gums. Have to be careful not to get it on your ceramic teeth or your clothes; the stains do not wash off easily.

Kashmiri Chili Powder – Used often, this chili powder may sound a little hot on the tongue but it really isn’t that spicy. If this ingredient is called for in a recipe, it’s usually to add flavor and color to the food. I use this spice in absolutely everything. Note to remember – do not substitute it with cayenne chili powder the results will never be the same.

Dhana Jeera Powder – A spice that is a blend of coriander and cumin powder, it’s also used separately in Indian households. If you plan to make your own Dhana-Jeera powder, you might want to roast the spices a little before you grind them into very fine powder. Roasting the seeds adds a taste like no other. Nonetheless, store bought versions are equally desirable.

Rye Seeds – You know good food is on its way when you can hear the rye seeds crackling. I simply love eating my vegetables with some cumin, rye and curry leaves. Crackle these ingredients in a pot; add some potatoes and you have a dish everyone loves.

Cumin Seeds – Ask me what I would do without some Jeera in my spice box and I would have to call that having a nightmare in the kitchen. The burst of flavor and the aroma of this spice is all you need in many Indian recipe.

Sambhar Masala – A blend of Methi (Fenugreek), Haldi (Mustard), Hing (Asafetida) and Til (Sesame) Oil. This masala is called for in a number of Parsi recipes and can be found at your local grocery store.

Dhansak Masala – For all those who don’t know Dhansak, is a staple Sunday diet for Parsi’s all over the world. However if you plan on going to a Parsi navjot or wedding don’t expect to see it on the menu as it is never prepared on a good occasion. Making Dhansak can take anywhere from 4 – 5 hours, but if you have the right pre made masalas stored in the fridge as I do, prep time just gets cut to half.

Lal Masala Paste – While this paste does not lie in my masala box, it is the King of my Kitchen and I would faint the day I ran out of it. The recipe is already at www.thebawibawarchi.com if you look for it in the search menu.

Ginger-Garlic Paste – it is as the name states it a paste made with ginger and garlic and can be made at home or bought at the store. Always remember to store it in the refrigerator once it has been opened in an airtight box.

Tamarind Paste – Even when it comes to food we never know what side to take, do we like it sweet or savory no one can ever make up their mind, hence the answer is simple add tamarind paste and Jaggery into almost all your dishes and voila! You have reached delicious.

Jaggery – Jaggery can always be substituted with sugar. The use of Jaggery adds a sweetness to the food but I add it because someone very dear to me once said that adding Jaggery or sugar prevents food from falling short at the table. Call me superstitious if you want but in my house as children we were taught a very important life lesson that, nobody at our table should be allowed to go hungry and well they simply never have.

Coconut Powder – I always need these for curry’s, recipes with gravy and soups. I also find it’s much easier to use powder instead  of fresh coconut to make coconut milk.

Other must have spices

Whole pepper corns

Cinnamon sticks

Cardamoms

Cloves

Bay Leaves

 

 

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