Tandoori Lime Olive Oil Fish

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During the summer months, Arvinda's Tandoori Masala always seems to be our favourite masala. I tend to add it to everything (pototoes, tofu, grilling veggies like sweet peppers, zucchini, portobellos and more!) for easy, light and delicious lunches and dinners on the days you want something quick to enjoy on the patio--and something to use for a BBQ.

Not too long ago I was in Olivo Fresco, a neighbourhood gourmet food shop that sells flavoured olive oils and balsamic vinegars in addition to other pantry staples (including a couple of Arvinda's masala varieties too). I was speaking to owner, Georgette at the store who was telling me about a recipe she made with salmon, marinated with Arvinda's Tandoori Masala and seared in Olivo Fresco's Persian Lime olive oil. It sounded like a 5-star meal and thought I should try it and share with others.


TANDOORI LIME OLIVE OIL FISH

Method of Preparation:

1) Marinate fish in olive oil (with lime) and ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA for 10-15 minutes.

2) Place fish in a skillet, add sea salt as needed and cook on medium-high heat until cooked and golden brown in colour, approximately 4-5 minutes.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

4 fish filets (any white fish)
3 TBSP. Olivo Fresco Persian Lime OR olive oil with 2 tsp. lime juice
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
sea salt, to taste
 

Surely this could taste equally great on a plant-based protein like tempeh or tofu, which I will try for sure! :)

Tandoori Spiced Tofu on Greens with Grilling Vegetables

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If you've wanted to season tofu with a lot of flavour, try Arvinda's Tandoori Masala! Fantastic as a grilling marinade, all it takes is a bit of oil, add some sea salt to taste and mix in the masala. Rub onto extra-firm tofu (organic preferred) with a splash of lemon or lime juice for a touch of brightness and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, if not for 2-3 hours. 

What I like about summer cooking is it's fresh, easy, flavourful and can be made in a pinch when you're looking for a quick meal. Bake in the oven, grill on the barbeque or even fry it in the skillet for the quickest method.

When done, it tops well on top of salad greens for a light lunch or stuff into a pita pocket with onions and tomatoes.

Honestly, it can be eaten on its own especially when fried up in the skillet! Be sure to cook well until the edges are crispy and golden, which makes the tofu even more delectable I would say. 


TANDOORI SPICED TOFU with GRILLING VEGETABLES

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium bowl, add oil, ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA, salt and lemon or lime juice. Mix. 

2) Fold in tofu and vegetables to marinate. Toss well and refrigerate for one hour.

3) Thread on soaked bamboo skewers. 

4) Cook on barbeque or bake in 400F oven for 15 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Ingredients:

350G tofu, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 small zucchinni, cubed
1/2 medium onion, cubed
6-8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

MARINADE:
2 TSP. oil
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1/2 TSP. salt, or to taste
1/2 TSP. lemon or lime juice

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower "Steaks" with Cashews & Creamy Makhani Sauce

I often make Makhani Paneer, a vegetarian version of the popular dish Butter Chicken which tends to be a 'treat' reserved for a special meal.

I realized the Creamy Makhani Sauce could be drizzled on any steamed or roasted vegetables for a decadently, delicious veggie main that's both filling and satisfying because of all the fibre content vegetables possess. 

For this recipe, I cut the cauliflower into "steaks" or thick slices and rubbed on Arvinda's Tandoori Masala with olive oil. It's optional, but you can add a squirt of lemon on the cauliflower before baking it. 

Add for the garnish, coarsely chopped cashews add a nice crunch and texture, elevating this main to a five star level!


TANDOORI SPICED CAULIFLOWER "STEAKS" with CASHEWS & CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE

Method of Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Mix olive oil with ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA. Brush onto cauliflower on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven to slightly cool.

2) CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE: Heat oil on medium-high heat. Stir in crushed tomatoes and sift in chick pea flour. Whisk to create a smooth paste. Add ARVINDA'S BUTTER CHICKEN MASALA, sea salt and sugar. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

3) Stir in cream and thin out with water to desired consistency (if required).

4) Arrange cauliflower on plate and drizzle on Creamy Makhani Sauce. Garnish with cilantro and cashews.

Ingredients:
1 cauliflower head, trimmed and cut into "steaks" (slices)
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
sea salt, to garnish
1 TBSP. cilantro, to garnish
2 TBSP. raw cashews, coarsely chopped

CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE:
1 TBSP. oil
¼ CUP crushed tomatoes
2 TBSP. chick pea flour
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S BUTTER CHICKEN MASALA        
½ TSP. sea salt
1 TSP. sugar
¼ CUP half-and-half cream
½ CUP water (optional)

Cauliflower & Mixed Vegetable Biryani ~ Layered Basmati Rice with Saffron

There are many ways to make a Biryani, a layered basmati rice dish scented with whole spices like cardamom, cloves and bay leaves, laced with saffron, sprinkled with nuts, cilantro and a generous amount of garam masala.

This week one of our customers, Jay was looking for a recipe to prepare Biryani, the vegetarian way which actually reminded me I haven't made Biryani in a very long time. I always prepare my Biryanis vegetarian, and this was a great chance for me to make it and post the recipe -- especially since my mouth was kinda watering while reading the request!

This recipe makes a modest sized portion, serving 4-6 people (opposed to 8-10 people like the other Biryani recipes I have on file). It's a nice recipe to make on the weekend and can be enjoyed for a couple of extra meals during the week. Any curry will go nicely with it and serve it with plain yogurt on the side.

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As for the veggies, I used a combination of carrots, mushrooms, green beans and yes, cauliflower all chopped up quite finely and nicely. I love how the cauliflower soaks in the flavours of the Biryani Masala lending the vegetable mixture a bit of density.

I must say a good rule of thumb for any Biryani preparation is to select and choose a top quality basmati rice, which will take the dish 'over-the-top'!


CAULIFLOWER & MIXED VEGETABLE BIRYANI

Method of Preparation:

1) VEGETABLES: In a skillet, fry onions in 2 tsp. of ghee on medium heat until slightly brown. Mix in crushed tomatoes and ARVINDA'S BIRYANI MASALA and salt. Add mixed vegetables, nuts and 1/4 tsp. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA. Stir to combine and cook for a couple of minutes. Set aside. 

2) In a small bowl add 2 tbsp. of water with saffron. Set aside to soak.

3) RICE: Wash and rinse rice in a couple of changes of water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain. 

4) In a large pot, add soaked rice, ARVINDA'S WHOLE SPICES, salt and cover with plenty of water. Cover with lid and bring to boil until rice is nearly cooked (al dente). Strain rice.

5) In a skillet, fry sliced onion in 1 tsp. of ghee until slightly cooked. Set aside.

6) ASSEMBLY: Grease a medium sized casserole dish with ghee or oil. Spread half the rice evenly on bottom of dish. Sprinkle in half of soaked saffron (with water). Sprinkle with half the amount of cilantro. Add all cooked vegetable mixture and spread out. Add remaining cooked rice, sprinkle with remaining saffron (in water). Top with sliced onions.

7) Cover with foil and bake in a 350F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Garnish with remaining cilantro and sprinkle of ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA.

Ingredients:
1 CUP mixed vegetables, finely chopped (cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, green beans)
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ CUP crushed tomatoes, canned
1 TBSP. ghee
1½ TSP. ARVINDA'S BIRYANI MASALA
2 TBSP. cashews or pistachio nuts, halved
¼ TSP. salt
½ TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
¼ TSP. saffron, soaked in water
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced, to garnish

Rice:
1 CUP premium basmati rice
2 EACH cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise & peppercorns from ARVINDA'S WHOLE SPICES
½ TSP. salt or salt to taste
1 TSP. ghee
¼ CUP cilantro, chopped to garnish
 

"Master Curry Sauce": 3 curries to warm up for winter

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Back in December, one of our customers inquired about Arvinda's Curry Powder, mentioning they were planning to try the "Master Curry Series" over the holidays. Master Curry Series?!?! Sounds fascinating! We were intrigued as this was something we wanted to try!

We later found out, LCBO Food & Drink Magazine writer Eric Vellend, published a "Master Curry" series of three recipes using a "Master Curry Sauce" in the coveted Holiday 2017 issue using Arvinda's Curry Powder and Arvinda's Garam Masala. Curries don't typically come first to mind during the festive time of year but of course it makes perfect sense! Post Boxing Day, after all the traditional holiday recipes are tested, tasted, eaten (and exhausted!), it is the perfect chance to try new recipes to share with family and friends.

Although I didn't get a chance to try the "Master Curry" recipes over the holiday season, I pulled out the magazine to try them this January. With all the cold weather and snowy conditions we're experiencing (not that I'm complaining), it's curries I crave and what I cook to keep warm. Chilies find a way to comingle with the fragrance of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric, which does a thing or two to help warm the body up. It really is the a perfect food for some of the coldest days of the year.

The Master Curry concept is genius - you make one master base sauce using a high quality curry powder to create the base flavours and use it to create three completely different curries. In this case, the recipes featured in Food & Drink are as follows:

  • Master Curry Sauce Tofu & Peas (I made it with paneer instead of tofu);
  • Master Curry Sauce Shrimp and
  • Master Curry Sauce Chicken

Recipes available on page 222, LCBO FOOD &DRINK HOLIDAY 2017.

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We found the curries to be delightful! Once the Master Sauce is created, making one of the curries takes only 10-20 minutes (less time for the tofu and shrimp curries, more time for the chicken curry). Making the Master Curry Sauce is the perfect task to take on over the weekend when you have a bit more time. In that way it will be easy to create various curries--each different--during the week when dinner needs to get on the table quickly! In addition, it's a great way to add some turmeric to the daily diet.

If you prefer more intensity, you can make the recipes using Arvinda's Curry Masala

If you have a chance to try out the recipes, please share your photos and comments. We'd like to say thank you to Eric Vellend for the Arvinda's Curry Powder mention - many thanks for the lovely recommendation which is much appreciated! :)

CURRY LEAF INDIAN SPICED PASTA SAUCE

I love making pasta from scratch. It's the soft texture and unique homemade fillings that make it worthwhile to make it from scratch.

I had some leftover Curried Sweet Potato Mash and stuffed it into homemade ravioli topped with a Curry Leaf Indian Spiced Pasta Sauce. Indian-Italian fusion!

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CURRY LEAF INDIAN SPICED PASTA SAUCE

Method of Preparation:

1) On medium heat, gently heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion and fry until fragrant, for a couple of minutes. Add ARVINDA'S CURRY LEAVES and fry for one minute.

2) Add diced tomatoes (with liquid reserve). Simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA and sea salt to taste. Gently spoon in pasta and toss for a couple of minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.
 

Ingredients:
1/8 CUP olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
10 ARVINDA'S CURRY LEAVES
1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes
1-2 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1 TSP. sea salt

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Layered Curried Vegetable & Kidney Bean Moussaka

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For the ultimate vegetarian comfort food look no further! Hearty and delicious, this Layered Curried Vegetable Moussaka is spiced up with Arvinda's Curry Masala. Use 1 tablespoon if you like a lot of flavour. Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com


LAYERED CURRIED VEGETABLE & KIDNEY BEAN MOUSSAKA

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium pot, gently heat olive oil and sauté garlic for a couple of minutes. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add grape tomatoes, slightly cook and stir in crushed tomatoes. Mix in apple cider vinegar, ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, salt, sugar, turmeric and pepper. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Thin out with water if becomes too thick. Fold in kidney beans, mix and set aside.

2) In a large skillet heat olive oil, add sliced vegetables and sprinkle in salt and pepper. Cover with lid and gently stir every few minutes. Cook until vegetables are tender. This will depend on how thinly the vegetables are sliced, but should take about 15 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 350F. Line a casserole dish (I used a rectangle oven proof dish) with parchment. Set aside.

4) In a saucepan, heat milk and whisk in flour, ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until smooth.

5) In the casserole dish layer on half the vegetables. Layer on half the tomato mixture and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Add the remaining vegetables, remaining tomato mixture, Béchamel Sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese.

5) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro. 

Ingredients:
1 TBSP. olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 small red onions, chopped
1 CUP grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 CUP ground of crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1 TSP. salt
1/2 TSP. sugar
1/4 TSP. turmeric powder
crushed black pepper, to taste
1/2 CUP water
1 CUP kidney beans, cooked

Vegetables:
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 small potato, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 CUP mozzarella, grated
1/4 CUP cilantro, chopped

Béchamel Sauce:
1 CUP milk
2 TBSP. flour
1 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1/2 TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
salt and pepper, to taste

10-Minute Curry (from your pantry!)

I make this 10-minute Channa Masala when I need dinner on the table in a hurry. Believe me, this is the EASIEST CURRY you can make! All ingredients are basic and should be in your pantry.

I hope this recipe can find its way into your repertoire of healthy and quick dinners!


10-MINUTE CHANNA MASALA

I don't typically use beans from a can, so if you prefer using dried beans my suggestion is to boil a huge batch and freeze some for future use. I find the texture is a bit different, but it saves time when you’re in a pinch. Try using the leftovers stuffed into a pita pocket for a quick lunch.

Method of Preparation:

1) Rinse chickpeas and drain. Set aside. In a medium-sized pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add ARVINDA'S WHOLE SPICES. Fry for one minute taking care not to burn.

2) Add ground tomatoes and cook for one minute. Stir in ARVINDA'S MADRAS MASALA to make a paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in cooked chickpeas and add water to make a thick sauce. Add sugar and salt to taste. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3) Serve in a serving dish and garnish with ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA and cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or flatbread and salad to make a healthy, well-balanced meal.

Ingredients:
2 CUPS chick peas, canned
1 TBSP. oil
2 EACH whole spices from ARVINDA'S WHOLE SPICES 
¼ CUP crushed tomatoes, canned (unsalted)
1 ½ TBSP. ARVINDA'S MADRAS MASALA
1 CUP water
1 TSP. sugar
½ TSP. salt, or to taste
2 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
½ TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA, to garnish

Winter comfort: Spicy Mac n' Cheese

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A fantastic winter comfort food, Mac n' Cheese with a dash of masala is surprisingly tasty. When we were kids, my mother would make this all the time making a spicy pasta-curry hybrid, with loads of veggies. Here's my version.


SPICY MAC N' CHEESE

Method of Preparation: 

1) In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2) Preheat oven to broiler setting.

3) In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and caramelize until golden brown. Add crushed tomatoes and ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA. Mix. Add broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Fold in pasta and mix well.

4) Put in a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese bake under the broiler for five minutes. Garnish with garlic chives.

Ingredients:
227g macaroni (elbow) pasta
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
¼ CUP crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1 CUP broccoli florets
½ CUP white cheddar cheese, grated
¼ CUP garlic chives, to garnish