Spring Energy: Broccoli Kale Curried Broth wtih Paneer

Spring is about renewal–of our bodies, personal connections, goals, dreams and of course, life!

With the arrival of spring it's a time to readjust, wake ourselves out of a slumber and reenergize our spirits. This is the perfect time to fill our body with all good things, give our butts a bit of a kick before the start of the summer season and give ourselves a mental ‘check in’ to see how we're feeling.

So try adding energy-boosting foods like broccoli, kale, green onions and coriander to your diet. These ingredients can easily toss into a curry broth for a delicious Spring booster. And for protein, throw in a handful of beans and a few cubes of paneer (Indian pressed cheese).

Normally paneer is enrobed in a delicious curry sauce to give its texture a lot of flavour, but it works beautifullly in this soup, where its texture is interesting enough to add some depth to an otherwise light and simple broth. 

Give it a try and see how you feel.

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Kale & Broccoli in Curried Broth with Paneer

Be good to yourself and enjoy the spring season with energizing good food like this green soup infused with curry masala!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. Arvinda’s Curry Masala
1/4 broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup kale, chopped
10 cups vegetable stock OR 10 cups water and 2 vegetable stock cubes
1 cup navy beans, cooked
1/2 cup paneer, cubed
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder (optional)
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup coriander, chopped

Method: In a large pot, gently heat oil. Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add Arvinda’s Curry Masala and mix. Add broccoli and kale and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add turmeric powder, navy beans, paneer, green onions and coriander. Serves 6-8.

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Posted on April 17, 2017 and filed under Arvinda's Curry Masala.

Masala Magic Recipes on OMNI Television

Join Host Preena Chauhan of Arvinda's - Saturdays, 5:30 EST on OMNI Television for Masala Magic Recipes where we create delicious, easy and healthy Indian foods - all with the magic of masala!

Tune in every week to see how to create delicious Indian curries and Indian -inspired foods with Indian spices all made from simple ingredients from your refrigerator and pantry.

Episode highlights include Indian-Style Brunch; Easy Bean Curries; Cooking with Carrots, Indian-Style; and Indian Foods for a Party.

Saturdays at 5:30pm EST, OMNI Television premiering this February 25th!

Arvinda's premium Indian spice blends are featured on Masala Magic Recipes on OMNI Television!

Arvinda's premium Indian spice blends are featured on Masala Magic Recipes on OMNI Television!

Posted on February 23, 2017 and filed under recipe, TV.

Christmas Chai Snow Crescent Cookies (Eggless & Gluten-Free)

This year we made most of our Christmas cookies gluten-free. We love them because they're light and crispy, and they've been a hit amongst all our guests so far!

This season we doubled the batch, stored the dough in the freezer and baked these cookies as we needed them so they're always fresh and crispy for our guests.

If you haven't done your holiday baking as of yet, try making these Christmas Chai Snow Crescents which are easy, delicious and festive to cheer up your Christmas dessert table!

Christmas Chai Snow Crescent Cookies (Eggless & Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:
½ cup butter
½ cup icing sugar + extra for ‘snow’ finishing
1 tsp Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala (or Arvinda's Chai Masala)
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (try Bob's Red Mill Biscuit & Baking Mix)
½ cup blanched almonds, finely ground

Method of Preparation:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter with sifted icing sugar. Add Arvinda’s Christmas Chai Masala (or Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala) and almond extract and mix. Sift in flour and mix. Fold in ground almonds.

3. Take a small ball of mixture and roll between palms of the hand to form a cresent. Continue with remaining mixture.

4. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven or until slightly golden brown. Cool on wire rack. To garnish cresents, dip into icing sugar to create a festive snow finish.

Posted on December 23, 2016 and filed under Arvinda's Chai Masala.

Chai Spiced Indian-Style Shortbread especially for Diwali!

Diwali, India's Festival of Lights is not complete without an indulgence of delicious foods! Awhile back, we spoke to Canadian Living about Diwali foods. You can read the Canadian Living article here.

Indian-Style Chai Spiced Shortbread, Nan Katai

Indian-Style Chai Spiced Shortbread, Nan Katai

We were asked about typical Diwali sweets and shared some of our family's traditions and favourite sweets to eat during the festival, including:

Ghatiya – chick pea flour noodles with spices, deep-fried snack
Chevda – deep-fried snack food with a medly of potato sticks, raisins, peanuts, spices
Gulab Jamun – milk based round doughnut-like balls simmered in a saffron syrup served warm
Barfi / Ladoos – various milk based sweets made with ghee, nuts and spices – various flavours like pistachio, almond, cashew, chocolate, coconut, mango
Shakarpara – All purpose flour sweetened with sugar syrup and ghee/oil with sesame seeds, deep-fried and cut into diamonds
Ghugharas – Gujarati pastry dumpling stuffed with sweetened semolina, nuts and spices, deep-fried
Matiya – Gujarati crispy bread made from moong dal, deep-fried eaten as a snack
Sutarferni – An all-purpose flour dough, deep-fried, fine noodles (looks like a bird’s nest) topped with sugar and pistachios

Talking about all these sweets brings back memories of childhood, which was a time when we used to make ALL of the above festive sweets - from scratch! One of our family traditions is to make Shakarpara which is only made once a year, during Diwali. We often make other sweets too, but this one is a mainstay on our Diwali sweet table!

For most of the above items, the common thread are the following ingredients -- sugar, ghee (clarified butter) and lots of deep-frying! 

If you would like to try making a typical Diwali sweet in your home, here is an easy Indian-style shortbread called Nan Katai. It is perfect for dipping into a steamy cup of Masala Chai!

Chai Spiced Indian Shortbread with Saffron ~ Nan Katai (Khatai)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ghee or butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. Arvinda's Chai Masala
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour
1/4 cup semolina
2 tbsp. milk
6-8 saffron strands
almonds, for garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl soak saffron in milk. Set aside.

In a bowl add butter and sift in icing sugar. Mix in Arvinda's Chai Masala and baking soda. Sift in flour. Mix in semolina. Mix in milk with saffron.

Shape batter into balls and slightly flatten into a discs. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are golden in colour.

Makes 14 large or 20 small cookies.

Posted on October 24, 2016 and filed under Arvinda's Chai Masala, Indian culture.

Tandoori Marinated Paneer Skewers with Grilling Vegetables

Get your grill on and turn things up with Arvinda's Tandoori Masala! Although this masala is usually used for a marinade for chicken, it has at least a hundred other uses as well--including these Tandoori Marinated Paneer Skewers with Grilling Vegetables.

Try cooking on the BBQ for best results. 

Ingredients:
375 g package of paneer, cut into cubes
¼ red onion, cubed
½ zucchini, cubed
1-2 red, yellow and/or green pepper, cubed
8-10 mushrooms, halved
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. Arvinda’s Tandoori Masala
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
½ tsp. lemon juice
14-18 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour

Method of Preparation:
In a medium bowl, mix together oil, Arvinda’s Tandoori Masala and salt. Add cubed paneer and coat well. Sprinkle in lemon juice, stir and cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with foil. 

On soaked bamboo skewers, thread on vegetable (red onion, pepper, zucchini or mushroom) and marinated paneer cubed. Fill up skewer. Continue with remaining paneer and vegetables. 

Lay skewers on baking sheet and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with Cooling Cucumber Raita.

Posted on July 8, 2016 and filed under Arvinda's Tandoori Masala.

Happy Holi! India's Festival of Colours

Today in India, people observe and celebrate Holi, the festival of colours celebrated on the last full moon of the winter.

This is a boisterous and playful day when everyone comes out in happy spirits, gets together and lovingly showers each other coloured scented powders.

Holi’s essence is captured in the 2000 Bollywood film Mohabbatein – watch this video to get a feel of the celebration!

Holi, the springtime festival of colours cultural significance is to welcome in the new season and is a time to renew relationships, reunite with one another and release old grudges, bringing about peace and love. This is a time to let it all go!

Wear your brights today and celebrate with colour!

Posted on March 24, 2016 and filed under Indian culture.

Arvinda's Christmas Chai Spiced Gingerbread Cake

We love this beautiful, airy Christmas Chai Spiced Gingerbread Cake scented with the warming spices of Arvinda's Chai Masala. An added bonus for your guests: Serve with a steamy cup of Arvinda's Christmas Chai tea - a perfect complement!

We love this beautiful, airy Christmas Chai Spiced Gingerbread Cake scented with the warming spices of Arvinda's Chai Masala. An added bonus for your guests: Serve with a steamy cup of Arvinda's Christmas Chai tea - a perfect complement!

This is a deliciously simple cake that is elegant enough to serve at the end of a festive feast or equally as inviting for casual a get together with friends and family alongside merry sips of Arvinda's Christmas Chai tea.

Here at Arvinda's, whenever we're in a bind and need to serve something delicious but easy, we turn to this recipe as our 'go-to' festive cake - which never fails to please!

Ingredients:
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar (or jaggery)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cup flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. Arvinda’s Christmas Chai Masala
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup golden raisins, soaked in 2 tbsp. amaretto or spiced rum
¾ cup milk
¼ cup yoghurt
 

Method: Grease a bundt pan. There may be leftover batter depending on the size of bundt pan you are using. In that case, set aside a loaf pan as well. Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa, Arvinda’s Christmas Chai Masala, baking powder and baking soda. Fold into wet ingredients. Add soaked raisins.

Mix in milk. Fold in yoghurt. Pour batter into cake pans.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Insert a knife into middle of cake and if it comes out clean remove from oven. Bake until fully cooked.

Cut into slices and garnish with a toffee sauce or berry compote.

Hope you love it just as much as we do! Enjoy and happy holidays.

Posted on December 14, 2015 and filed under recipe, Christmas Chai Masala.

Chai Spiced Ginger Apple Oatmeal

It’s very easy to fall in love with oatmeal when you make it taste good.

Our favourite way to enjoy oatmeal is spiced with cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger–spices commonly found in Masala Chai. Arvinda’s Chai Masala is the perfect complement to oatmeal which can handle these aromatic and warming spices.

It's hard to imagine a cold breakfast in the winter months.

Chai Spiced Ginger Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked oats
3 cups water
1 apple, cubed
1/4 cup dried currants
3 pieces crystallized ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. hulled hemp seeds
1/2 tsp. Arvinda’s Chai Masala
pinch turmeric powder (optional!)

Method: In a pan or skillet add oats and cover with water. Cook on medium-high heat until water is absorbed. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for a couple more minutes.

Variation for the festive season: Use Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala and cranberries in the recipe (instead of Arvinda's Chai Masala and currants).

Posted on December 7, 2015 and filed under Arvinda's Chai Masala.

Happy Diwali from Arvinda's!

Diwali is celebrated with tiny lamps called diyas, lit and placed in people's homes signifying light overcoming darkness. Diwali is the brightest and most joyous of celebrations in India, and it is a time when new beginnings are embraced, people let go of the past and ask for blessings of prosperity and spiritual wealth for the coming year. 

Diwali is celebrated with tiny lamps called diyas, lit and placed in people's homes signifying light overcoming darkness. Diwali is the brightest and most joyous of celebrations in India, and it is a time when new beginnings are embraced, people let go of the past and ask for blessings of prosperity and spiritual wealth for the coming year. 

Arvinda's celebrated Diwali with the Canada AM crew this week. Watch the segment here and see how we celebrate with a cup of spicy Masala Chai!

Posted on November 11, 2015 and filed under Arvinda's Chai Masala.

Meatless Monday: Saag Paneer ~ Indian Pressed Cheese with Spinach

Looking for inspiration for a mouth-watering Meatless Monday?

Look no further. Saag Paneer (also known as Palak Paneer) hails from the Punjab region of India delivering full flavour and is awfully satiating with paneer's creamy texture and chock full of green power with a full bunch of spinach.

This recipe works well with Arvinda's Curry Masala or Arvinda's Madras Masala

Irresistible!

Irresistible!

Get the recipe here. Happy Monday everyone!

Posted on July 6, 2015 and filed under Arvinda's Curry Masala, Arvinda's Madras Masala, recipe.

Tandoori Spiced Chick Pea & Kale Salad

Here is a great way to celebrate the becoming of Spring with an Indian twist!

1) In a skillet, heat oil and blend in a couple of teaspoons of Arvinda's Tandoori Masala. Add chick peas (and parboiled potatoes - optional).

2) Add in finely chopped chopped organic kale (any variety will do).

3) Add sea salt to taste. Mix well. Remove from heat.

4) Serve either as a warm or chilled salad with a garnish of chopped cilantro, red onion and finely cubed cucumber.

Arvinda's Tandoori Masala is of course the ideal spice blend for a yoghurt-based marinade for chicken.

However, in our kitchens we use this amazingly flavourful blend as a seasoning for grilled veggies, paneer, tofu AND chick peas!

Posted on May 4, 2015 and filed under Arvinda's Tandoori Masala.

Happy Holidays from Arvinda's

From our family to yours...we wish you peace, joy and happiness for the festive season. Best wishes to you all and hope it's a spicy one!

Thank you to all our lovely customers and clients for your wonderful support. 

Posted on December 23, 2014 .

Arvinda's Christmas Chai Spiced Rum Balls

Rum balls always make a nice addition to a holiday cookie plate. We made some using the sweetness from dates spiced with Arvinda's new Christmas Chai Masala. Yum, they melt in your mouth.

Ingredients:
1 pkg. pitted medjool dates (340g)
1/4 cup hot water
300g dark bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup 10% light cream
2 tbsp. spiced rum
1 tsp. Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

Method: In a bowl, soak medjool dates in hot water for 30 minutes. Set aside.

In a double boiler over the stove, gently melt chocolate. (A double boiler is a pot of boiling water with a bowl placed on top to melt the chocolate. This way chocolate won’t burn). Stir in cream, spiced rum, and Arvinda’s Christmas Chai Masala.

In a food processor, purée dates with water until a smooth paste. In a separate big bowl combine date paste with chocolate mixture. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.

Form into truffles and roll in chocolate sprinkles. They store best in the freezer.


Posted on December 15, 2014 .

Fruity Christmas Chai Spiced Cookies

One fun way to use Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala is in your holiday cookies.

Try these cute little fruity Christmas cookies that will add some spice and flair to your holiday table.

Arvinda's Fruity Christmas Chai Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala
1/4 cup mixed candied peel
1/4 cup mixed citrus peel
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup dried cranberries                                    

Method: Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and mix. Add baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix.

Fold in flour. Add Arvinda's Christmas Chai Masala. Fold in candied peel, citrus peel, currants and cranberries.

Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refridgerator.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roll out cookies into small 1-inch diametre balls and flatten with palm of your hand. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 13-18 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Make 45 small cookies.

Option: Drizzle with melted white chocolate to finish cookies.

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Posted on December 8, 2014 .

Arvinda's Orange Almond Chai Spiced Treats

Now that back-to-school season is in full swing, moms and dads are looking for healthy treats to pack in lunch boxes. 

In Indian culture, parents give their kids a healthy almond milkshake to help them focus and bring clarity to the mind. It is said almonds help improve the memory, so it's a tradition to take almonds, especially during exam time!

With that in mind, try Arvinda's Orange Almond Chai Treats that are protein-packed, loaded with almonds to keep energy levels high throughout the day and the mind sharp. They are portable and the perfect-sized lunchbox treat!

Arvinda's Chai Masala beautifully scents this treat making it feel heavenly and indulgent!

Arvinda's Orange Almond Chai Spiced Treats

Ingredients:

1 cup                organic almond butter
½ cup               raw honey
½ cup               almonds, finely chopped
¼ cup               chocolate protein powder (whey or plant-based)
¼ cup               flax seeds
¼ cup               hemp seeds
¼ cup               sesame seeds
¼ cup               dried cranberries or raisins
¼ cup               dates or prunes, finely chopped
¼ cup               dry unsweetened coconut + extra ½ cup for dusting
1 tbsp              cocoa powder
1 tbsp              ginger powder
2 tsp                Arvinda’s Chai Masala
                        zest of an orange

Method of Preparation:

In a medium bowl add almond butter and mix well. If consistency is stiff slightly warm up in microwave or on stovetop.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Roll into balls (slightly smaller than walnut size).

Place remaining coconut in a small bowl. Dust with coconut to garnish. Store in refrigerator. Yield = 40 pieces

Tip: Double the batch, roll out balls and freeze for future use.

Posted on September 8, 2014 and filed under Arvinda's Chai Masala.

Arvinda's Tandoori Skillet Spiced Chick Peas with Cucumber Raita Drizzle

Arvinda's Tandoori Skillet Spiced Chick Peas with Cucumber Raita Drizzle.

Arvinda's Tandoori Skillet Spiced Chick Peas with Cucumber Raita Drizzle.

Last week, we attended Whole Foods Market's #SupportOntario at the Stop Community Food Centre at Wychwood Barns. 100% of proceeds raised from the dinner was donated to the Stop's valuable community food programs. Cooked by the talented Whole Foods Market chefs, they treated guests (and vendors, like us!) to a delicious, all local, communal multi-course dinner. The food was phenomenal, the conversation and energy was inspiring and it was an energizing experience for all who attended and came to eat!

The communal long table dinner hosted by Whole Foods Market #CitySupper at Wychwood Barns. All proceeds went to The Stop Community Food Centre.

The communal long table dinner hosted by Whole Foods Market #CitySupper at Wychwood Barns. All proceeds went to The Stop Community Food Centre.

Food was delish! Whole Foods Market chefs cooked the dinner with Ontario ingredients - yum!

Food was delish! Whole Foods Market chefs cooked the dinner with Ontario ingredients - yum!

We had the opportunity to meet guests and tell them about our story and sample a tasting of Arvinda's spice blends. For the summer season, we wanted to make something easy, light and fresh so we served up Tandoori Skillet Spiced Chick Peas with a Cucumber Raita Drizzle.

As promised, here's the recipe!

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Tandoori Skillet Spiced Chick Peas with Cucumber Raita Drizzle

Ingredients:

2 cups chick peas, cooked
2 tbsp. oil 
2 tbsp. Arvinda's Tandoori Masala    
1 tsp. lemon or lime juice
½ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
Salad:
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cucumber, finely cubed
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Raita Dressing:
1 cup thick plain yoghurt
½ English cucumber, finely grated
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Madras Masala
½ tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp. fresh coriander, finely chopped
pinch Arvinda’s Garam Masala

Method of Preparation: 

In a bowl, mix together salad ingredients. Chill in refrigerator.

In a skillet, gently heat oil on medium heat. Add Arvinda’s Tandoori Masala and sea salt. Blend masala with oil. Fold in cooked chick peas and coat with oil and spices. Cook on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. 

Remove from heat and sprinkle lemon or lime juice on top. Allow mixture to cool down, then refrigerate.

Cucumber Raita Drizzle: In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Serve on individual plates. To serve, add chick peas, layered with salad and raita dressing on top. Enjoy!


The night was capped off with some very delicious decaf (Declawed) coffee from Toronto based coffee roaster, 23 degrees.

The night was capped off with some very delicious decaf (Declawed) coffee from Toronto based coffee roaster, 23 degrees.


Delight dad with an Indian BBQ this Father's Day

I don’t know what it is about dads and grills, but whenever you put the combo together it equates to happy. Most often our Father’s Day celebration has one element of grilling added to the menu!

India’s northern region specialties include Indian-spiced grill buffets of Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Tikka cooked in a tandoor clay oven that reaches ferociously hot temperatures. Setting up the tandoor is usually a half-day feat! The coals need to heat up slowly over the course of a couple of hours and when the temperature peaks, it’s time to add in your marinated tandoori chicken (or paneer) skewers. No worries if you don’t have a tandoor – the grill works great and so does the oven when set to 400F.

Since Tandoori Chicken is a signature dish it is coloured with red food colouring. Going naturally, try a natural food colour or just omit it altogether. Arvinda's Tandoori Masala will give you more of a orangy colour, as there is no added food colouring.

Since Tandoori Chicken is a signature dish it is coloured with red food colouring. Going naturally, try a natural food colour or just omit it altogether. Arvinda's Tandoori Masala will give you more of a orangy colour, as there is no added food colouring.

Tandoori Chicken is super easy. The marinade consists of a few simple ingredients — yoghurt, lemon juice, sea salt and spices.  Arvinda's Tandoori Masala contains over 17 herbs and spices – we pack lots of spice into our little tin! The spices include: our favourite turmeric (a super antioxidant by the way), chilies, plus fresh Ontario garlic.

If possible marinate your tandoori chicken overnight for best results. If you’re cooking on the fly, the results will still be good but not as flavourful as if you gave it time for the yoghurt to penetrate the chicken.

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For vegetarian options and variety, you can include Tandoori-Grilled Vegetable Medley of bell peppers, zucchini and mushrooms and Marinated Tandoori Paneer Kebabs to your grilling session. You will also need a cooling Madras-Spiced Cucumber Raita, a yoghurt condiment (recipe found in Arvinda's Home Indian Cooking cookbook, $14.95).

VEG OPTION: For any vegetarian substitutes, use tofu or paneer using the same recipe as the chicken and the results are delicious.

Impress dad with this Indian Father’s Day menu - and you'll be done in a snap!

Posted on June 11, 2014 and filed under Arvinda's Tandoori Masala.