International Spice Blends Recipes

Chicken Schwarma

This delicious Middle Eastern meal is best made on the grill, although good results come from the oven, too. Serve with large rounds of flatbread with fillings like chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, black or green olives, chopped scallion, and even grated goat or lamb cheese. Let your meal companions make their own wraps!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Marinade

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: 2 tsp smoked paprika

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, or in a large sealable bag. Add the chicken thighs and mix to coat. Marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
  2. Combine and mix the yoghurt sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. To grill: Heat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken on each side about 5 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.

     To pan fry: Heat a heavy pan on the stovetop on medium high. Cook the chicken until nicely charred on each side and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.

  1. Slice the chicken and pile on a platter.

To Serve: Slather a flatbread with the yoghurt sauce, then top with chicken and toppings.

To roll up: first fold the bottom up about ⅓ of the way, then roll from one side across to the other, tucking around the meat and vegetables.

Tips:

  1. You can freeze the chicken thighs in a freezer bag with the marinade days ahead. As the chicken and marinade defrost, it will marinate!
  2. You can cook the chicken a day ahead, or the morning before an afternoon or evening party, and reheat it prior to serving. Mix the reheated chicken slices with the marinade and it will be perfect.

Coconut Curry Fish

Use any type of firm fish fillets (salmon, swordfish, red snapper, catfish, grouper, etc). You can even add other types of seafood to this curry: shrimp and mussels would be wonderful in addition to or in place of the fish. It’s a quick, 30-minute meal that tastes great!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, grated on large holes of box grater
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 fully ripe tomato, diced or 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2-4 teaspoons Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • ¼ tsp chili powder (cayenne)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 fresh chili peppers, cut in half lengthwise (optional); or red pepper!

Directions

  1. Wash the fish and pat very dry. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and swirl in the oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the aromatics cook slowly. Saute until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Take care not to let it burn!
  3. Add the tomato and saute for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use your spatula and smash the tomatoes a bit to break them up.
  4. Add the Kashmiri Garam Masala, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. This forms the wet masala (wet spice base).
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high. Pour in the coconut milk and the water. Add in the chili pepper if using. When the mixture comes to a good boil, add in the fish and cook for 4 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through.

Coconut Curry Fish

Use any type of firm fish fillets (salmon, swordfish, red snapper, catfish, grouper, etc). You can even add other types of seafood to this curry: shrimp and mussels would be wonderful in addition to or in place of the fish. It’s a quick, 30-minute meal that tastes great!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, grated on large holes of box grater
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 fully ripe tomato, diced or 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2-4 teaspoons Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • ¼ tsp chili powder (cayenne)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 fresh chili peppers, cut in half lengthwise (optional); or red pepper!

Directions

  1. Wash the fish and pat very dry. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and swirl in the oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the aromatics cook slowly. Saute until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Take care not to let it burn!
  3. Add the tomato and saute for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use your spatula and smash the tomatoes a bit to break them up.
  4. Add the Kashmiri Garam Masala, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. This forms the wet masala (wet spice base).
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high. Pour in the coconut milk and the water. Add in the chili pepper if using. When the mixture comes to a good boil, add in the fish and cook for 4 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through.

Delicious Hungarian Pork Stew

This simple and easy-to-make pork dish comes with a robust flavor!

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 7 tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 5 lbs boneless pork chops
  • 1 lg yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 (6 oz) packages wide egg noodles

Directions

  1. In a large skillet cook the diced bacon on medium-high heat until browned; drain and save the drippings.
  2. Add the onions to the bacon and cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the Hungarian Spice Blend. Transfer the mixture to a large stockpot.
  4. Using the skillet, without cleaning it, heat 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet on medium-high. Cook the pork chops until evenly browned on both sides, adding bacon drippings as needed.
  5. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board, blot off the excess oil, trim the fat, and cube the meat. Then add it to the stockpot.
  6. Using the skillet, heat a couple teaspoons bacon drippings on medium. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until they are softened and fragrant. Drain them on paper towel, then add them to the stock pot.
  7. Pour the 2 cans of diced tomato and beef broth to the stockpot and place the pot on a medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until it begins to thicken, stirring occasionally – about 1½ hours.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.

Tilapia in Berbere Butter

In addition to tilapia, any firm white fish (like cod or halibat) will work for this super-simple dish, and it’s an excellent choice for your next weekend BBQ!

Directions

Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry. Set aside.

For every 2 fillets, heat in a large pan:

  • 1 T butter
  • 2 t Berbere Spice Mix
  • 1 T fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
  • a pinch of salt (optional)

Place the fish in the pan, cook for 1 minute; flip the fish and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through, basting with the butter sauce every minute or so.

Hint: if you are cooking a fish with its skin on, start on the non-skin side, then flip the fillet so the skin side is down for the longest cooking.

Test for doneness by lightly flaking with a fork. The flesh should flake easily and be white throughout.

Adding a spice mix will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by raking a fork over the flesh as discussed above.

To serve: place a fillet on a plate (skin side down), and spoon some of the butter sauce over the top.

Hungary-Inspired Egg and Potato Casserole

This flavorful recipe was shared by a woman who remembered her in-laws making it for Lent. We’ve adjusted the seasoning more to our own liking. It’s great as a light summer evening dish, or as a savory contribution to brunch. Serve warm or cold.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
  • salt to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large pan, place eggs in enough cold water to cover. Bring water to a boil, then immediately remove the pan from heat, cover with pan lid, and let eggs cook for 15 minutes. Then remove, cool, shell, and slice eggs into rounds.
  3. At the same time, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain, cool, and slice into rounds.
  4. Starting with potatoes, lay out 3 layers of potato and 2 of eggs in a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle each layer of eggs with 1 tsp of our Hungarian Spice Blend. (Start and end with a layer of potatoes. If you don’t have enough potato medallions, make the bottom layer egg and only use 2 layers of each potatoes and eggs.) Optionally, lightly salt each egg layer.
  5. Using a small saucepan, melt the butter and sour cream over low heat. Immediately pour over the potatoes. Top with a sprinkling of the Hungarian Spice Blend.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Ethiopian Vegetable Stew

This hearty stand-alone vegetable stew can be supplemented by adding cubed and browned chicken at Step 3.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive, peanut, or coconut oil
  • 1 T Berbere Spice Blend
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 3 lg onions, chopped
  • 4 lg carrots, cubed
  • 4 lg potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 2 cups water

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the Berbere Spice Blend and minced garlic. Stir to thoroughly mix, then add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the carrots and potatoes. Cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the puree and water (and optional cubed, browned chicken). Cover, lower temperature to a simmer, and cook 30-40 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are fully cooked.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a side of crusty bread.

Misir Wot (Lentil Stew)

This easy, 30-minute vegetarian dish is traditionally made from red lentils, although green will do.

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive, peanut, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3  cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T Berbere Spice Blend
  • 3 oz (1/2 can) tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups (red) lentils
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Saute chopped onion and garlic in oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste and Berbere spice. Mix. If the resulting paste is too thick, add about 1/4 cup water.
  3. Rinse the lentils, then add them to the pot with the 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer about 20 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.
  4. Add an additional 1/4 cup of warm water.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Note: Be careful when purchasing peanut oil; most brands are either diluted with cheap vegetable oils or treated with an anti-foaming agent. Pure peanut oil is expensive, which is why we get ours by purchasing plain peanut butter and pouring off most of the oil that separates from unadulterated peanut butter. Keep it in the refrigerator, where it will become partially solid.

Quick and Delicious Ground Lamb Dish

This easy 20-minute dish is perfect in itself! Or it can be used as a filling for pita bread, in flatbread rollups, or as stuffing for grape leaves! You can also make it with thin slices of lamb. (I slice it ¼” thick by 2-3″ long.)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dried currants (or cranberries)
  • 2-4 tsp Baharat Spice Blend

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the onion and cook it over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and pine nuts and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the lamb. Cook until the meat is cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat, add mint, currants, and Baharat Spice Blend. Stir to combine. Serve.

How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

  1. Soak grape leaves in a large pot filled with boiling water and one tablespoon salt for five minutes. Remove from water and strain. Set aside.
  2. Prepare a marinade from 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Don’t boil until Step 7. You’ll also need 3 or 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds, and 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.
  3. Reduce amount of ground lamb to ¼ pound; the pine nuts, mint, and currants to ¼ cup; and the Baharat Spice Blend to ½ teaspoon.
  4. Add 1½ cups uncooked brown rice in step 3, and only cook the lamb until just browned. (The rice will cook when the grape leaves steam.)
  5. Place a leaf, shiny side down (vein side up) on a clean working space. Place about one teaspoon of filling in the center of the leaf, fold in the sides of the leaf, and roll from the bottom (stem side) to the top. Make sure to create a very tight roll.
  6. Line the bottom and lowest sides of a large pot with a layer of sliced tomatoes. Place the prepared leaves tightly on top of the tomatoes in concentric circles, leaving no gaps between them. Repeat until you run out of grape leaves, or the pot is full. Add tomato slices around the edge as you build your stack.
  7. When you’re finished (or the pot is full), evenly sprinkle the slices of 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic over the grape leaves, then pour on the marinating sauce. Place a plate on top of the leaves, put on the pot lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1½ hours.

Kashmiri Lamb

This delicious recipe also tastes great made with beef (or any red meat)! I recently served it to a dinner party and got rave reviews. I even had to drag out my homemade spice mix for friends to sniff! One of the great things about Kashmiri Garam Masala is that it’s sweeter than the usual commercially-available garam masala, which my dinner companions found delightful!

(‘Garam Masala’ means ‘spice base,’ and it can be dry or wet, depending on the dish.)

Ingredients

Hint: I have tamed the heat of this recipe considerably! This is a delicious, very pleasant, and slightly sweet meal. Don’t let the next paragraph scare you!

However, if you like hot food – and I mean really hot food – replace the first 3 ingredients with the traditional 4 dried red chili peppers (such as cayenne) and 3 long, green chili peppers (such as Indian Jwala) – and be sure to provide hand towels and handkerchiefs for your guests. (By the way, ‘Jwala’ means ‘volcano’. You’ve been warned!)

Now, for the rest of us —

  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper depending on taste (start with a small amount; add more toward the end if it’s not hot enough for you)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 tbl oil (olive, coconut, or pure peanut)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 20 whole blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Place peppers, cayenne, cumin seeds, Kashmiri Garam Masala, ginger, garlic, grated coconut, and tomatoes in a blender; pulse several times to chop, then blend into a smooth spice paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  3. Stir the spice paste into the onion and cook and stir until the oil separates from the mixture, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in lamb pieces, turmeric, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently over medium-high heat, until the lamb pieces brown, about 8 minutes.
  5. Mix in yogurt, saffron, and blanched almonds until well combined.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick, about 1 hour.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

Serve with rice or hearty bread.

Flavor-Filled Hungarian Beef Brisket

This is our take on one family’s traditional Hungarian brisket recipe. Sure, it marinates overnight and cooks for 4 hours, but it’s got lots of bacon! And it tastes great, too!

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs beef brisket
  • 2 tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
  • 2 lbs sliced bacon
  • 5 cups cold brewed coffee
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 lb fatback, sliced into small rectangles
  • 2 sweet potatoes, quartered

Directions

  1. Dust the brisket in our Hungarian Spice Blend, then completely wrap it in the bacon.
  2. Dissolve the salt in the coffee.
  3. Set the brisket in a large glass baking dish. Pour the cold coffee-salt brine over the meat, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. In a saucepan, combine the butter and minced garlic over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the garlic has turned golden brown.
  5. Spread all of the shortening onto the inside of a roasting pan.
  6. Place the brisket in the pan; add 1 cup of the coffee-salt marinade. Lay triangles of fatback over the roast. Place the sweet potatoes around the meat in the roasting pan.
  7. Pour the garlic-butter mix over the brisket and the sweet potatoes. Let stand 1 hour.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 325° F. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake 4 hours, and until the internal temperature of the roast measures 145° F. Remove from oven.
  9. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing. Slice across the grain.

Au Jus

While the roast rests, make a dipping au jus by stirring together

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2½ tbl prepared horseradish

in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for ½ hour, then pour into a serving bowl.

Spiced-Butter Chicken

A creamy dish with a spice infusion. The heat grows in the cooking, so test and add more spice at the end to meet your heat preference!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken (I prefer thighs, you might like breasts), cubed
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 oz (¼ cup) butter
  • 2 tbsp pure peanut oil, separated (coconut or olive will do)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see recipe, below)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp + 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions

Butter Sauce

  1. Sauté the onions in 1 tbsp peanut oil until translucent.

Tip: Most commercial peanut oils are either diluted with cheaper vegetable oil, or contaminated with an anti-foaming agent. Both additives are harmful to your health. (Most vegetable oils burn at low temperatures, and burned oil irradiates body cells when consumed.) We only cook with heat-tolerant coconut, olive, and peanut oils (palm is also good), butter, and occasionally tallow or lard that we render from organic, grass-raised pig or cow fat. We source peanut oil by purchasing pure peanut butter and pouring off most of the natural oil that separates during storage.

  1. Add the butter, ginger-garlic paste (directions below), lemon juice, 1 tbsp Kashmiri Garam Masala, 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend, and bay leaf. Stir briefly until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Add tomato puree and stir another minute.
  3. Add yogurt and cream, reduce temperature to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Chicken

  1. While the sauce simmers, in a large skillet heat 1 tbsp peanut oil, add chicken pieces, and brown (10-12 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala and 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend.
  3. Add ½ cup of the finished sauce to the chicken and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened. Then transfer the chicken and sauce to the main pot of sauce.
  4. Mix the cornstarch and water thoroughly. Pour into the butter chicken dish. Simmer on medium-low until the sauce thickens.

Serve on a bed of rice.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and diced fresh tomatoes.

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Put ½ cup whole garlic cloves and ½ cup peeled fresh ginger, with ¼ cup olive oil, in a small food processor and run until it forms a semi-smooth paste. (There will be tiny pieces, but overall it should resemble a paste.)

Keeps well in a glass jar in the refrigerator at least 3 weeks.

Use to spice up marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy, etc.

Easy Hungarian Chicken Thighs

Pair these delicious chicken thighs with a fresh green salad!

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3½ tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 whole tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1½ cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Sauté onion in butter until tender.
  2. Add Hungarian Spice Blend and stir. Add diced green pepper, then add chicken and stir to coat all sides of the chicken.
  3. Sauté 15 minutes to brown. Add the water, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 45 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken, set aside.
  5. Mix sour cream and ¼ cup water. Add flour and whisk smooth. Add to liquid from cooking the chicken, stirring constantly until thick.
  6. Return chicken to the pot. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Doro Wat (Chicken Stew)

Doro Wat is one of the most popular North African dishes, and can be found in almost every Ethiopian restaurant. It takes 3 hours to make this superb slow-cooked, nutritious, and flavor-rich meal, and it is oh so worth it!

Substitute beef and the dish is called Sik Sik Wat. It is also delicious with pork and lamb. This is truly an all-purpose main dish recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T extra virgin olive, pure peanut, or coconut oil
  • 3 C yellow onions, finely minced/pureed
  • 1 T finely minced garlic
  • 1 T finely minced ginger
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 cup Berbere Spice Blend 
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 cup White wine mixed with 1 t honey
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and pierced all over with a fork 1/4-inch deep

Directions

  1. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them. Let them sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes. (Or leave it on the counter while you do Steps 2 – 4, 95 minutes.)
  2. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven. Add onions and sauté, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, and 1 T butter. Continue to sauté, covered, another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add Berbere Spice Blend and 2 T butter. Continue to sauté, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the chicken, broth, and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Adjust seasonings, adding more Berbere according to your preference. Add the hardboiled eggs, simmer on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.

Serving Notes

  • Serve with a side of rice.
  • Cut each egg in half and use a half egg as a plate garnish.
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the dish as a colorful and tasty garnish.
  • Sprinkle diced fresh tomato over the dish for a cooling color and taste contrast.

Broiled Salmon with Baharat Butter

This delightful take on broiled fish features Arabian-flavored butter for a delicious variation on a quick and healthy weeknight staple! Serve on a bed of brown rice with a side of garden-fresh vegetables.

Ingredients

Spiced Butter

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • optional: up to ½ tsp salt

Make Spiced Butter by blending 4 tablespoons of room-temperature butter and ½ tablespoon of my Baharat Spice Blend. (You can also add optional salt, though I don’t think it’s needed.)

Tip: Roll the extra butter in waxed paper, making a 1″ thick log. Place in baggie and, for maximum flavor, store in refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for a month.

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon fillets
  • 3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.Turn on oven broiler and place an oven rack about 8″ below the heating element.

2. Using a large cast iron or heavy all-steel (no plastic or wood parts!) skillet over a medium-high stovetop, heat the olive or coconut oil.

3. When the oil shimmers, carefully place the salmon in the pan, skin side down and slightly separated from one another.

4. Watch the fillet sear as the raw fish cooks from the bottom up. When it reaches about ⅓ of the way (2-3 minutes), remove the skillet to the pre-heated oven.

5. Broil about 3 minutes, until the fish has finished cooking through. Remove it and use a fork to test the flesh. It should flake easily.

To Serve: Cut each fillet in half, place on a bed of brown rice, and top with a generous pat of Baharat Spiced Butter.

How to Make Perfect Brown (or Wild) Rice

  1. For each cup of uncooked brown or wild rice, place 4 cups of cold water in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. When the water has a rolling boil to it, rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water for 30 seconds, stirring by hand, then drain and add to the pot.
  3. Turn the heat to medium. Leave the pot uncovered, and cook for exactly 30 minutes. Adjust the stove temperature so you have a slight, barely perceptible rolling boil.
  4. After 30 minutes, pour the rice and remaining water into a strainer. Let drain for 10 seconds, then return the cooked rice to the pot.
  5. Put the lid back on and set the pot aside for 10 minutes. Do NOT put it back on the stovetop burner. After 10 minutes, remove the cover, fluff, and serve.

Note: This method will work with white rice, too, but watch it more carefully because it may run out of water before the half hour is up. That’s because white rice, among its other problems, absorbs more water. If the white rice is too dry before it’s fully cooked, add a half cup of boiling water.

Kashmiri Masala Chicken

This dish is a bit more involved, and provides a taste treat that makes it well worth the effort!

Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½” fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2½ – 3 lbs chicken parts
  • 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1″ fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
  •  4 tbsp oil (olive, coconut, or pure peanut)
  • 3 medium sized onions, finely diced
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely diced or grated
  • leaves stripped from 1 bunch cilantro, separated into two parts
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Make a paste by mincing the garlic, grating the ginger, and mixing both with the turmeric and coriander powder. Mix until a paste forms.
  2. Place chicken parts in a bowl, and toss to coat with the paste. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a blender, combine and thoroughly blend the garlic, ginger and Kashmiri Garam Masala.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy, deep-sided pot (I use a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add onions. Turn the heat to low and fry until golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

Add the garlic-ginger-garam masala paste and cook 2-3 minutes until nicely fragrant.

  1. Add the chicken pieces and their marinade. Mix thoroughly to combine the seasonings and completely coat the chicken.
  2. Add the tomatoes. (Grated or finely chopped is better than blended, for a desired grainier texture.)
  3. Continue cooking until the oil starts to separate and the gravy is dry, 15-20 minutes.

Add ½ the bunch of cilantro leaves and 1 cup water. Cover and cook another 15 minutes until the chicken meat is cooked through and tender.

  1. Garnish with the remainder of the cilantro leaves and serve with rice.

Turnip and Kidney Beans

I know – it sounds a bit strange, but you have to try it to believe it! Be-cause the people of North India eat a lot of turnips, they’ve found some of the best ways to serve up this staple winter vegetable. Mmm!

Ingredients

  • 2 turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 3 tbl olive or coconut oil
  • ½ tsb whole cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ tsp minced fresh ginger root
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbl water
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala

Directions

  1. Place turnips in a saucepan with the water and ½teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the turnip is soft, about 5 minutes. Once tender, stir in the kidney beans, and cook 5 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the cumin and fennel, and cook until the spices toast and become fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the onion, and cook until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the minced ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking until the mixture turns pasty.
  5. Stir in the paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, and 2 tablespoons water; cook 2 minutes more.
  6. Add the tomato mixture to the turnips, and simmer 10 minutes. Season with Kashmiri Garam Masala before serving.

Lamb Koftas

Try this is easy, fun, and tasty grilled dish – you’ll be glad you did!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 onion, grated on a box grater
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; thoroughly mix with your hands. (There’s no better way to do it!) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to make the meat easier to handle – and up to 24 hours in a sealed container or bag.
  2. Dampen you hands, then divide the meat into 8 pieces. Shape around 8 skewers.

Tip: If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for half an hour to assure they don’t just burn up on the grill.

  1. Grill the koftas on the BBQ until nicely browned all over. Remove and rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serve topped with Yoghurt Sauce with a side of green salad. Or, serve in flatbread slathered with Yoghurt Sauce, with some of the salad included as a garnish.

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly combine ingredients and refrigerate for several hours, or up to 24 hours, in a sealed container.