Curried Coconut Cashew Popcorn

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I was flipping through the channels earlier this week and caught a segment of MasterChef Canada winner Chef Mary Berg cooking up some DIY Oscar party popcorn recipes and stopped in my tracks when I heard the word curry

The recipe that caught my attention was a Curried Cashew Popcorn which is a clever tropical-ish sweet and salty popcorn recipe that had me saying, 'I HAVE to make this!' And so I did.

This recipe is a little different than our Indian Spiced Popcorn recipe which has a bit more heat and no sweetness.

So easy to make, this is a popcorn flavour for the one who likes a depth of flavour, nuttiness and texture from the cashews and the salty-sweet combo. Best of all, there's a load of health beneficial spices especially from the turmeric found in the curry powder! Isn't that a bonus?!

I slightly changed the recipe as I added some of Arvinda's Garam Masala for some extra aromatic spices, so if that's available in your pantry you can add that in. I also added more Arvinda's Curry Powder to amp up the flavour. And lastly, I added a bit of coconut for some extra texture and flavour and used coconut oil as my choice of fat.

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CURRIED COCONUT CASHEW POPCORN

Recipe adapted from (Marilyn Dennis Show): Chef Mary Berg

Method of Preparation:

1) In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil on medium-low heat. Stir in honey until smooth.

2) Place popcorn in a large bowl. Pour over coconut oil and honey mixture. Toss well.

3) Sprinkle in ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER, sea salt, ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA and cashews. Toss well and garnish with coconut. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/3 CUP popcorn kernals, popped
2 TBSP. coconut oil
1 TBSP. honey
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER
1/2 TSP. sea salt
1/4 TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA (optional)
1/2 CUP cashew halves, gently toasted
1/8 CUP unsweetened shredded coconut, to garnish

Enjoy the 2018 Oscars. My money's on Dunkirk! ;)

"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! :)

GARAM MASALA MULLED WINE

Arvinda's Garam Masala contains a lot of the spices you would find in a mulled wine, namely cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. 

Mulled wine is the perfect warming festive drink to serve during the colder months, paired with appetizers or sweets. It sure would be lovely to sip this around a crackling fireplace in the midst of the festive season.

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GARAM MASALA MULLED WINE

Method of Preparation:

1) In a pot, add raw cane sugar, the juice of one orange and a splash of red wine. Mix together to combine and stir on medium heat. Add ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.

2) Mix and allow spices to become fragrant. Pour in rest of red wine. Gently simmer on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir in port just before serving and garnish with orange slices.

Ingredients:
750 ML bottle red wine (use a half decent red table wine, Merlot is good)
½ CUP raw cane sugar
2 large oranges
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
2-3 cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, each from ARVINDA'S WHOLE SPICES
1 vanilla pod, slit in half
½ CUP port (optional)

GARAM MASALA SPICED HOLIDAY CAKE

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Not only amazing in this cake, try garam masala in your spiced holiday cookies, fruit cake and my favourite – hot chocolate!

The savoury Indian spice blend really compliments any sweet or dessert containing fruit, rum or dark chocolate. Think of how salted caramel or dark chocolate with chili works so well together, it’s a similar combination.

This Garam Masala Spiced Holiday Cake makes a great hostess gift or can be served at your next Christmas or holiday dinner party. The recipe makes enough for a bundt pan with a little batter leftover, which I easily popped into a parchment-lined loaf pan.


GARAM MASALA SPICED HOLIDAY CAKE

Method of Preparation:

1) Grease a bundt pan. There will be leftover batter—in that case, set aside a loaf pan as well. Preheat oven to 325F.

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

3) In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa, ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA, baking powder and baking soda. Fold into wet ingredients. Add soaked raisins.

4) Mix in milk. Fold in yogurt. Pour batter into cake pans.

5) 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.

Ingredients:
½ CUP butter, softened
1 CUP sugar (or jaggery)
2 eggs
1 TSP. vanilla
1 ¾ CUP flour
2 TBSP. cocoa powder
2 TBSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM 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 yogurt
¼ CUP dates (to garnish on top of loaf pan)

CURRIED MASHED SWEET POTATOES

Add more fibre to your diet by subbing out potatoes for sweet potatoes. Rather than mashed potatoes, this side will be on our holiday table this season! It's sweet and delightful with a hint of curry spices.

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CURRIED MASHED SWEET POTATOES

Method of Preparation:

1) In a pressure cooker, add sweet potatoes, potatoes and salt. Cover with water and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender enough to mash. (If you don’t own a pressure cooker, boil on stovetop – this should take around 20 minutes).

2) Drain water. Using a potato masher (or fork) mash sweet potatoes and potatoes.

3) In a large skillet, melt ghee on medium heat. Add ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA and mix. Fold in mashed sweet potatoes and potatoes and coat with masala. Fold in heavy cream.

4) Serve in a bowl and garnish with ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:
1 LB. sweet potatoes (4 small), peeled and cubed
½ LB. potatoes (2 medium), peeled and cubed
1 TSP. salt
2 TBSP. ghee or butter
1-2 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1/8 CUP heavy cream
sea salt, to taste
¼ TSP. ARVINDA's GARAM MASALA , to garnish

Curried Cilantro Deviled Eggs with Garam Masala

An easy and simple appetizer for any holiday table, guests will be happy with this for not only its protein but also for its flavour. Arvinda's Curry Masala delicately spices up the filling and Arvinda's Garam Masala finishes it off with a touch of warmth. 

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CURRIED CILANTRO DEVILED EGGS with GARAM MASALA

I like these to look rustic, so I just used a teaspoon to spoon into each egg half. Arrange on a platter and garnish with a sprinkle of Arvinda’s Garam Masala, red pepper, red onion and a cilantro leaf.

Method of Preparation: 

1) In a bowl, finely mash hard-boiled egg yolks. Combine with mayonnaise and mix well. Add cilantro, red onion, ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, mustard, ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA. Season with sea salt, to taste. Garnish with red pepper, red onion and cilantro leaves. Yield = 24 pieces.

Ingredients:
12 eggs, hard-boiled, shelled and sliced in halves
1/2 CUP mayonnaise
1/4 CUP cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 CUP red onion, finely chopped
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
2 TSP. dijon mustard
1/2 TSPARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
sea salt, to taste
Garnishes: red pepper brunoise (small dice), red onion finely sliced, cilantro leaves

 

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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

Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup

I still have a couple of uncarved pumpkins hanging around since Hallowe'en! With the holidays around the corner, I decided it's time to lose the pumpkin display and start consuming these beauties in some delicious recipes. One of my favourite ways to enjoy pumpkin is to purée it into a soup and add flavour with Arvinda's Curry Masala.

This is a recipe repost from many years ago from A Teaspoon of Turmeric. After every Hallowe'en, we seem to always get a couple of requests for this recipe, which is why I wanted to share it.

A beautiful presentation, short ingredient list and a chock full of curry flavour, nothing is deterring you from making this hearty soup to warm you up.


CURRIED APPLE PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients:

2 CUPS pumpkin, cubed

1 apple, peeled cored and cubed

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

2 CUPS water

2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, add more, to taste

1 TSP. sea salt, or to taste 

 

Garnishes:

  • Hazelnut oil -or- Truffle oil, if you’re feeling really special
  • ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
  • Whipped yogurt
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Garlic chives

Method of Preparation:

1) In a pressure cooker or pot, add pumpkin, apple, onion, water and salt. Boil until soft and mushy. {Pressure cooker takes 5-7 minutes; boiling should be 15-20 minutes}.

2) Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender. Bring to a boil; add ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA and simmer.

3) Serve in soup bowls. Add a garnish of your choice or a sprinkle of all of the above for lots of layers of flavour and added texture.

Serves 2-4.

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Arvinda's Tandoori Skillet 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.

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Whole Foods Market chefs team cooked up the dinner with local Ontario ingredients - the food was delish!

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. salt (or to taste)
1 TBSP. fresh coriander, finely chopped
pinch ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA

Method of Preparation: 

1) Salad: In a bowl, mix together salad ingredients. Chill in refrigerator.

2) Tandoori Chick Peas: In a skillet, gently heat oil on medium heat. Add ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA and salt, and blend with oil. Fold in chick peas. Cook on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle in lemon or lime juice on top. Allow mixture to cool down, then refrigerate.

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

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

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