Monday, October 26, 2015

Masala Mama

One of the many products we were introduced to by this summer's Fancy Food Show was Masala Mama spice mixes. The company puts out a whole line of individual spices, but they also do pre-measured dry mixes to make cooking Indian food at home super easy. They're not stupid simple though - one doesn't merely dump the contents into a pan a la Hamburger Helper. There are explicit instructions included along with multiple seasoning packets that get introduced at different points during cooking. So you learn a bit of technique while being mostly lazy.

For instance, the Goa Coconut Curry came with a packet of kokum (related to mangosteen and nothing that the average American home cook will find in the supermarket) that needed to be added to a can of coconut milk and heated. The dried pink fruit was then left to soak in the warm milk in order to impart flavor and color. While that was going on, a second package of spices was fried with onions to make the base for the dish.

Goa fish curry doesn't normally have a ton of vegetables in it, as pictured, but we had carrots and tomatoes and peas and not a whole lot of fish, so I tossed them in for both bulk and nutrition. The dish turned out really well, tasting a lot more like something that came from a restaurant than from my kitchen. We haven't had an opportunity to try the Vindaloo spices yet, as the first ingredient is "chiles" and I have no idea how hot it's going to be. Not that we dislike spicy food--on the contrary, we enjoy it--but I've heard stories about the heat levels that dishes like vindaloo can reach. It's for the American market though, so I suppose it can't be that mind-blowing.

Masala Mama, founded by chef Nidhi Jalan, is based in Brooklyn, NY. Their products are certified USDA Organic and come from artisanal farms in India. They also offer three gourmet simmer sauces (Goa curry, Tikka Masala, and Vindaloo), 10 spice kits in addition to the two above, three spice blends (Garam Masala, Tandoori Masala, and Magic Curry Powder) and over 30 organic individual spices. If you can't find them in your local Whole Foods, you can buy the spice kits online at

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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