Bombay Potatoes with Curried Sweet Corn & Tamarind Date Chutney

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On July 26th we’re excited to be a part of the first-ever Night Market at The Food District at Square One Shopping Centre! We’re serving up a fantastic menu using Arvinda’s Curry Masala plus one Secret Menu offering. If you’re lucky to be coming tonight, mention “Secret Menu” and we’ll serve you up something spicy and delicious!

We are serving a delicious Sweet Corn Curry made with Arvinda’s Curry Masala, mixed with Bombay Potatoes topped with cilantro, onion and Tamarind Date Chutney. Delicious and easy, you can serve this on those most laziest and haziest days of summer!

I’m posting the recipe, as I know everyone is going to ask! Hope you can make it at home!


BOMBAY POTATOES with CURRIED SWEET CORN & CHUTNEY

Method of Preparation:

1) In a pot, add potatoes, salt and cover with water. Parboil for 7-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked, but firm. Drain and set aside.

2) In a large skillet, gently heat oil on medium-high heat and add BOMBAY SHAKE. Blend spices with oil and add parboiled potatoes coating them. Pan fry until cooked and crispy, for 5-10 minutes. Remove from skillet to cool and set aside.

3) In the same skillet heat oil on medium-high heat and add mustard seeds. Fry for one minute or until they pop like popcorn. Add corn and ARVINDA’S CURRY MASALA. Add salt to taste and cook for a few minutes until spices are cooked. Refrigerator to chill.

4)
On a large platter, make a layer of Bombay Potatoes and top with Curried Sweet Corn. Garnish will red onions and cilantro. Drizzle on a Tamarind Date Chutney or Yogurt Raita (see recipes in Arvinda’s Home Indian Cooking Cookbook) for added flavour.

Ingredients:

BOMBAY POTATOES
1½ LB. potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 CUPS water
1 TSP. salt
1 TBSP. ARVINDA’S BOMBAY SHAKE (flavour of your choice)
2 TSP. oil
sea salt, to taste

CURRIED SWEET CORN
2 CUPS
sweet corn, frozen or fresh kernals
2-3 TSP. oil
1 TSP. mustard seeds, from ARVINDA’S ESSENTIAL WHOLE SPICE KIT
1 TBSP. ARVINDA’S CURRY MASALA
salt, to taste
1/2 red onion, finely chopped, to garnish
1/4 CUP cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish

Memories of Miami Beach with a Mexican Fiesta 7-Layer Dip

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Happy 5th of May - it’s Cinco De Mayo! My ‘soft spot’ for Cinco De Mayo celebrations started many years ago on a trip to Miami Beach. We were there for a bachelorette party and while one group of the girls went to catch the sun at the beach for the afternoon, a couple of us decided to explore Miami Beach culture.

It just so happened to be Cinco De Mayo that day and there was a huge street party underway that we stumbled upon! Afternoon sun, mexican fiesta, delicious street foods and live latin music - it’s how I always remember Miami Beach and this very experience inspired us to create Arvinda’s Fiesta Mexicana spice blend. It’s interesting how each and every one of our spice blends that we’ve created for Arvinda’s has a story behind it. It is our memories and experiences through travel and culture that brought us to create each of our 24 international blends and Indian blends alike.

Since that year many years ago, I never miss the 5th of May as a chance to celebrate and create a feast of fresh Mexican foods. Cinco De Mayo is actually a celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over the French empire, however in North America, we tend to use it as an ‘excuse’ to throw a Mexican fiesta! :)

Here’s a great party food that’s easy to create and tasty for a crowd, a Mexican Fiesta 7-Layer Dip. You don’t have to be too picky about actually having seven layers, it’s just a guideline to make sure that you have enough layers of flavour to make it incredible and over-the-top delicious!

I used Arvinda’s Fiesta Mexicana spice blend in the refried pinto beans layer and in the sour cream and cream cheese layer to add a level of Mexican flavours. If you love the smoky flavour of chipotle, opt out for Arvinda’s Chipotle Taco seasoning as a substitute which will be equally as good.

Now onto the cheese layer, here’s where you can get really authentic. I discovered a beautiful cheese at The Food District called Queso Picante. It’s a soft-textured cheese (yet firm) and has a beautiful chili heat to it from Sabana Cheese. Paired with Craft Chippery’s tortillas, it’s all good to go!


MEXICAN FIESTA 7-LAYER DIP

METHOD OF PREPARATION:

1) Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add pinto beans. Sprinkle in 1 TBSP. ARVINDA’S FIESTA MEXICANA and cook well for a few minutes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add salt to taste.

2) In a small bowl, mash up avocados and mix in lime juice. Add salt to taste.

3) In a food processor, mix together sour cream and cream cheese until smooth. Blend in 1 TBSP. ARVINDA’S FIESTA MEXICANA, or add to taste.

4) In a casserole dish, add the bean layer, topped with avocado layer. Top with salsa and add a layer of sour cream and cream cheese mixture.

5) Sprinkle on tomatoes, red onions and cheese. Garnish with cilantro and serve with tortillas.

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP. oil
2 CUPS pinto beans, cooked
2-3 TBSP. ARVINDA’S FIESTA
MEXICANA
, to taste
½ TSP. salt, or to taste
2 avocados, mashed
½ TSP. lime juice
½ CUP salsa
250ML sour cream
¼ CUP cream cheese
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
2 CUPS queso fresco OR cheddar
cheese, grated
¼ CUP cilantro, finely chopped, to
garnish (optional)

Cauliflower Tikka Bites with Garam Masala Tomato Chutney

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Here’s a #SuperBowlSunday snack with a Tikka Masala twist!

If you’re wondering what the word “tikka” means, it is simply the term to refer to “small pieces” of typically chicken and sometimes lamb, but can also refer to small pieces of vegetables that is marinated in a yogurt based marinade with a chili spice mixture.

In this case, I made TIkka Cauliflower Bites served with Garam Masala Tomato Chutney, of course without the yogurt marinade as it really isn’t necessary for these delicious little bites. The end result is all full flavour, a chili bite with some heat that is substantial enough for any Super Bowl Sunday party table.


CAULIFLOWER TIKKA BITES with GARAM MASALA TOMATO CHUTNEY

Method of Preparation:

1) Boil cauliflower florets until cooked for about 5-7 minutes. Drain.

2) Preheat oven to 425F.

3) In a bowl, whisk together chick pea flour, rice flour, ARVINDA’S TIKKA MASALA and salt. Add water and mix well. Coat cauliflower florets with batter.

4) Oil a baking sheet and place coated cauliflower on a single layer. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Bake for 20 minutes until crispy. Garnish with cilantro.

5) GARAM MASALA TOMATO CHUTNEY: Stir together ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce.

Ingredients:

1 small cauliflower head, cut into florets
1/8 CUP chick pea flour
1/8 CUP rice flour
2 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TIKKA MASALA
1/4 TSP. salt
1/8 CUP water
2 TBSP. oil
1/8 CUP nutritional yeast
2 TBSP. cilantro, chopped

GARAM MASALA TOMATO CHUTNEY
1/2 CUP
crushed tomatoes
1/2 TSP. garlic paste
1/2 TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
1/4 TSP. salt

Potato & Peas Samosa Filling with Arvinda's Curry Masala

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One of the most coveted Indian foods is the Samosa, triangle shaped deep-fried pastries with a spiced potato filling. Generally speaking, people all over the world love hand-held foods that are savoury, satiating, tasty and easy-to-eat. At times, these little pastries can function as a mini-meal if paired with a side salad. In the case of the Samosa, since it’s a deep-fried indulgence we see it mostly served as an appetizer or snack, popular during the festive times of year, like Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights.

Every autumn, we celebrate the festival Diwali, India’s jubilant Festival of Lights practiced by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all over the world. As part of the tradition, people illuminate their homes with clay lamps called diyas to bring light into everyone’s lives during these darker days. Metaphorically speaking, this light symbolizes the victory of good over evil. As we celebrate Diwali today, a very auspicious day, this is the time of year our family makes and serves Samosas at home.

Several weeks back our customers Kate, from the East Coast requested a Samosa recipe using Arvinda’s Curry Masala, and others have also requested it for awhile now too. For those who have joined Arvinda’s Indian cooking classes over the years, you’ll recognize this recipe as we’ve shared this one many times over. Everyone (including the kids) have made this easy recipe with fantastic results over and over again.

There are many ways to make the pastry as there are different styles of Samosas (depending of the region of India), however you can choose to make this filling and pair it with any pastry of your choice really (using a pre-made pastry from the frozen section of the grocery store, or a homemade one of your choice).

Posting this has got me thinking we must offer our Samosa making workshop once again soon. Should anyone be interested in learning to make traditional Samosas from different regions of India, please do send us a message!

In the meantime, here’s Arvinda’s Basic Potato & Peas Samosa Filling.


ARVINDA’S BASIC POTATO & PEAS SAMOSA FILLING

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add whole cumin seeds. Fry until slightly browned. Add peas, ARVINDA’S CURRY MASALA (OR BOMBAY SHAKE GARLIC) and salt to taste. Stir for a minute or two.

2) Fold in cubed potatoes, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft and cooked.

3) Garnish with ARVINDA’S GARAM MASALA and mix. Set aside to cool then fill into pastry of your choice!




Ingredients:
1 TBSP.
oil
½ TSP. cumin seeds (from ARVINDA’S ESSENTIAL SPICE KIT)
1 CUP peas
2 TBSP. ARVINDA’S CURRY MASALA OR
BOMBAY SHAKE GARLIC
1 ½ TSP. salt or salt to taste
4-5 large potatoes, peeled and finely cubed
½ TSP. ARVINDA’S GARAM MASALA

Wishing you lights and love on this Diwali Day!

Indian Style Kebabs (with vegan option!)

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To make Indian style kebabs, you will only need a couple of ingredients: ground meat (or veggie 'ground round'), onions, cilantro, sea salt to taste and spices. In this case we use Arvinda's Kebab Masala, an aromatic blend of spices including turmeric with some of chilies for heat. 

I followed the recipe below and made it with the veggie 'ground round' for the first time. I never tried that 'ground round' product before and was pleasantly surprised! It formed nicely into kebabs and took up the flavour of the spices so nicely. I didn't find it difficult to form into the kebabs on the skewers, so will definitely be making these again for vegan option.

Vegan Indian Style Kebabs made with veggie 'ground round' and spiced with Arvinda's Kebab Masala. Delicious!

Vegan Indian Style Kebabs made with veggie 'ground round' and spiced with Arvinda's Kebab Masala. Delicious!

Feel free to shape this mixture into burgers for a deliciously spiced Indian style Bombay Burger.


INDIAN STYLE KEBABS ~ with vegan option

Method of Preparation:

1) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to marinate.

2) Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F.

3) Thread mixture onto skewers and lay kebabs on a baking sheet lined with foil. Brush with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked. Serve on bed of basmati rice drizzled with cucumber raita.

Option: Grill on barbeque.

Ingredients:

1 LB. ground meat OR veggie ground round
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1½ TBSP. ARVINDA’S KEBAB MASALA (use 2 TBSP. for hotter)
1¼ TSP. salt (or to taste)
2 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
2 TBSP. oil, for basting
10-12 bamboo skewers

Galette-Saucisse with a curry twist + Tandoori Spiced Seeds

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Game day foods! In the spirit of today's 2018 FIFA World Cup final I thought it would be fitting to prepare snacks that are culturally appropriate to the two remaining teams, of course with a sprinkle of some Indian spices for good measure (and for good flavour!). And around here, we're all about flavour.

I don't know too much about football, but what I do know is I'm very much into food! And on days like these, the most fun for me is to pick a favourite team, 'become a fan' and to jump-on-the-bandwagon if you will...albeit on the last day! A part of getting into the spirit is definitely the food. And everything always seems to come back to the food! :)

I was looking to see what foods are enjoyed at soccer games in different countries and came across this list of "What do Europe's football fans eat?" and discovered Galette-Saucisse for the first time. Galette-Saucisse is a common street food eaten in France, consisting of a pork sausage wrapped in a Breton galette, a warm or cold buckwheat crepe. There is cheese inside and it's served with mustard. It's a perfect hand-held food for a game.

I made my version with a vegan sausage and added Arvinda's Curry Powder to both my crepe batter and mixed it into the mustard, taking a subtle hint from the German tradition of currywurst. I added optional fillings for more flavour including red onion, green chili and cilantro. For a traditionalist, this may be a bit overboard but I tend to always opt for more flavour. Tasting this for the first time, I was impressed how delicious it was considering its simplicity.

I have to support the Croatian team too! :) I made a really quick snack of Tandoori Spiced Sunflower Seeds with Lime. Incredibly addictive and offering some good sustenance for a 90-minute game, I can see why this is a popular snack to eat at a soccer match in Croatia, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

These seeds are an amazing topper on any salad or delicious sprinkled on top of warm steamed vegetables, so keep that in mind too and consider making a double batch!

Now that the food is sorted out, cheers to both teams - and may the best one win!


GALETTE-SAUCISSE with a CURRY TWIST

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium bowl whisk crepe ingredients together. Refrigerate for one hour.

2) Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add butter (or oil) and 1/2 cup of batter. Swirl batter around skillet to create a round crepe with even thickness. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Continue with remaining batter.

3) Mix ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER into mustard.

4) To assemble, place sausage in crepe, top with cheese, red onion, green chili and cilantro, and drizzle with curried mustard. Roll and enjoy!

Yield = 12-14 crepes

Ingredients:

1 CUP buckwheat or soft whole wheat flour
1/4 CUP rice flour
2 CUP whole milk
2 eggs
1 TSP. salt
1 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER

6-8 (vegan) sausages, cooked
1 CUP grated cheese (of your choice)
1 small red onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 small green chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 CUP mustard
3/4 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER
 


TANDOORI SPICED SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Method of Preparation:

1) In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Blend in ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA.

2) Add sunflower seeds and gently fold in with spices. Garnish with a squeeze of lime.

Ingredients:

4 CUP sunflower seeds, slightly roasted
1 TBSP. oil
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1 lime wedge

 

Bombay Shake Black Pepper Potato Chaat with Cucumber Lavender Raita

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This coming weekend, Arvinda's will be at the NEOB Lavender Festival, July 7 & 8 in beautiful Niagara-On-The-Lake which we're always excited about! So picturesque and beautiful, I find it surreal to be situated right on the lavender fields, surrounded by enchanted rows of lavender bushes with their sweet and calming aromas. I should also mention, the scenery makes for a endearing photo op too! :)

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Every year for the last few years, I've been invited to do an Indian cooking demonstration at the festival tent, cooking with Arvinda's masalas. In traditional Indian cooking, the art of creating a curry from scratch all lies in the use of the spices--when to add them in, how much quantity to use and knowing how all the flavours balance together. Similarly when cooking and baking with lavender, it's important not to overflavour the dish but rather offer a subtle hint of the taste to balance out with all the other ingredients. I certainly learnt this the hard way!

Since coming to the NEOB Lavender Festival a few years ago, I started cooking with lavender and pairing it in my Indian dishes and realized one too many drops of culinary lavender can potentially ruin the whole dish! But when in balance, it's beautiful and with one bite you feel as though you're tasting Provence.

Now you may think lavender paired with Indian spices is a little bit off beat. Yes, definitely unusual. But it's quite surprisingly refreshing, unexpected and delicious. The flavour of lavender actually works incredibly well in certain Indian recipes, if subtle and used delicately.

This year, I'm repeating the same appetizer-snack I made last year (Bombay Shake Black Pepper Potato Chick Pea Chaat with Cucumber Lavender Raita), only because we received a ton of emails post show, requesting the recipe. My sincere apologies to all who asked for the recipe, so here it is and I'll be demonstrating it again for anyone who missed it last year.

Chaat is an Indian snack food or common appetizer eaten in all parts of India. The word chaat, literally means 'to lick' and this fresh snack food is delicious, spicy and fresh. Lick-worthy too, might I add! :)

There are many ways to make Chaat, but typically there is a base of boiled potatoes and chick peas. For my recipe, I like to spice up the potatoes with Bombay Shake Black Pepper for a lot of flavour. Then I mix in boiled chick peas and garnish with red onion, cilantro and Sev, crunchy deep-fried lentil noodles, an Indian snack food. You can buy Sev from any grocery store that sells Indian food products. It adds a wonderful crunch and texture for every bite and I would say it's worthwhile to seek it out.

Finally garnish with Cucumber Lavender Raita, a cooling yogurt condiment. Different and deliciously good, I hope you will come to the NEOB Lavender Festival this weekend and come by the demo too on either Saturday and Sunday. Hope to see you there! :)


BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER POTATO CHAAT with CUCUMBER LAVENDER RAITA

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER and blend with oil. Add parboiled potatoes and gently fold to coat well. Pan-fry until potatoes are cooked and crispy. Fold in chick peas and add salt to taste. Set aside to cool.

2) In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients for raita.

3) To serve, add potato chick pea mixture to a small bowl or plate. Garnish with sev, red onion and cilantro. Drizzle on Cucumber Lavender Raita. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

2-3 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and parboiled
2 TSP. oil
2 TSP. BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER
1 CUP chick peas, cooked
sea salt, to taste
1/4 CUP Sev, to garnish
1/4 CUP red onion, finely chopped, to garnish
1/4 CUP cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish

CUCUMBER LAVENDER RAITA
1/2 CUP thick plain yogurt
1/2 CUP English cucumber, grated
1/2 TSP. ARVINDA'S MADRAS MASALA
1
drop NEOB culinary lavender
sea salt, to taste

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Tandoori Mapled Almonds

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Earlier this week as we "officially" transitioned into summer, I was thinking about satiating and healthy snacks to pack for long drives and day trips, something to stash in my purse for when I'm out and about or a nice bite to bring out for a gourmet picnic spread.

Always thinking about flavour, I selected Arvinda's Tandoori Masala because it pairs nicely with maple syrup. Whether on vegetables, tofu, paneer or salmon, Arvinda's Tandoori Masala makes a wonderful glazy marinade when mixed with maple syrup. And with Canada Day weekend upon us I'm definitely thinking 'everything maple'! 

You can also set these out in a small bowls when entertaining as a side nibbler alongside drinks on the patio. They go terribly well with a cold drink, maybe because they hit the notes of sweet, spicy and salty all in one bite. I suggest making one batch of cashews and one batch of almonds, just to mix up the textures.

I made a triple batch of these Tandoori Mapled Almonds. Store in an airtight container.  


TANDOORI MAPLED ALMONDS

Method of Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 250F.

2) In a heavy bottom skillet, heat almonds on medium heat for a few minutes until gently toasted. Remove and set aside.

2) In the same skillet add pure maple syrup and blend in ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA. Fold in almonds and sprinkle on tamari. Mix. 

3) Place coated almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool before serving.

Ingredients:

1 CUP raw almonds (or raw cashews)
2 TBSP. pure maple syrup
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1/2 TSP.
tamari

Happy Canada Day!

Kale Onion Pakoras (gluten-free & vegan)

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I'm not quite sure why one would buy frozen Pakoras when you can easily make them in less than 20 minutes! You heard me right. 20 minutes (or less!).

The ingredients are simple and you may already have them in your pantry. All that's required is a mixing bowl, then add the dry ingredients, kale and onion and a bit of water to create a thick batter, then shallow deep-fry...and voila, you have steamy hot Pakoras ready to be eaten, hot on the spot!

This is the only way to eat them in my opinion. Hot. Fresh. And right out of the fryer!

If you're looking for something to pair with your beer this St. Paddy's Day, this is your shortcut to something mouthwatering, homemade and loaded with flavour. And the bonus is that it's quite beautifully green too!


KALE ONION PAKORAS

Method of Preparation:

1) In a mixing bowl add chick pea flour, ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, sea salt, fennel seeds from ARVINDA'S ESSENTIAL WHOLE SPICES KIT and baking soda. Whisk together to get rid of any lumps.

2) Add water to create a smooth batter. Mix in onion, kale and cilantro (optional). 

3) Line a plate with paper towel and set aside. Heat 1 cup of oil for frying in a small wok or deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Fry pakoras a few at a time for a few minutes, turning to cook evenly until golden brown in colour. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Yield = 12-14 medium sized pakoras.

Ingredients:
1 CUP chick pea flour, sifted
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
½ TSP. sea salt
¼ TSP. fennel seeds from ARVINDA'S  ESSENTIAL WHOLE SPICES KIT
¼ TSP. baking soda
¼ CUP water, add extra 1 TBSP. if necessary
1 CUP green kale, finely chopped
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

 

 

 


These Kale Onion Pakoras also serve well with a cup of Masala Chai. Enjoy and wishing you much luck on this St. Patrick's Day! :)