We’re going on our second week back in stay-at-home orders & full time virtual school. Are they taking Mrs. Mom-Teacher sabbatical applications yet?! How about a culinary escape with our taste buds instead?! Cooking has become a great release & where I center myself in the chaos and perpetual uncertainty this year has brought. I got inspired to change up our usual meal suspects last week and introduce some new-to-us flavours in la Cucina using Garam Masala – 3 ways: Lentil & Vegetable Soup, Cauliflower Bites & a Yogurt Dip. They were all so delish & a hit with the kids (even the pickiest of our bunch), so the recipes deserved a respectable place on the blog. We think families looking for a nice vegetarian meal or adding more plant-forward recipes to their rotation will love this trio of deliciousness!
What is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is a blend of ground spices, originating from South Asia, common in Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, and Afghan cuisines [Source: Wikipedia] The name stems from the Hindi term for “hot” or “heat” (garam) and “mixed spices” (masala). “Hot” in the context of garam masala refers to the Ayurvedic concept of warming spices that are meant to elevate the body’s temperature and increase metabolism – in line with Ayurvedic tradition where food should not only taste good but also deliver some form of health benefit. There are different versions of garam masala but most contain a combination of some or all of the following spices: Coriander, cumin, peppercorns, green cardamom, black cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg (sometimes mace), curry leaves and star anise. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together. You can buy a premade version or try to make a homemade garam masala recipe.
About the Recipe Ingredients
- For the Lentil & Veg Soup, I used Coconut Oil, yellow onion, yellow potatoes, carrots, diced tomatoes, kale, canned lentils, canned coconut milk and garam masala as the main seasoning with a few pinches of salt. Add/modify as you wish. Next time I’d also add fresh garlic (how did I forget that?!). You could also use fresh tomatoes instead of canned and replace the kale with any other of your favourite leafy greens (Swiss Chard would be nice). Dried lentils would likely taste better but for the sake of keeping the soup simple, we used canned.
- For the Cauli Bites, I used up whatever portion of cauliflower we had on-hand (about half) so if you’re making a bigger portion, add a bit more olive oil & garam masala then suggested.
- For the Yogurt Dip, we used Greek Yogurt, diced green onion, 1 large garlic clove, garam masala & a pinch of salt. The combo of onion & garlic in the small portion of yogurt we used (about 1 cup) made it VERY garlicky (which we LOVE). So if you’re not a bit garlic fan, cut the suggested portion down.
- Soups, lentils, dips & sautéing with vegetables are some of the best ways to use garam masala, but you could also add a sprinkle on any dish you want to elevate with it’s unique flavour at the end, or to your omelettes, scrambled or deviled eggs!
Lentil & Vegetable Soup Recipe
A delicious, uncomplicated vegetarian-based soup your family will love infused with the amazing flavours of garam masala!
Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Garam Masala | HouseofKerrs.com
- Stock pot or Dutch Oven
- Sheet pan
- 4 tbsp Coconut Oil *liquid*
- 1 med cooking onion diced
- 2 med yellow potatoes chopped
- 2 carrots diced
- 1.5 tbsp Garam Masala
- 2 900 mL containers Vegetable Broth
- 1 796 mL can diced tomatoes
- 1 400 mL can Coconut Milk
- 1 bunch kale Wash & chop (*I used half of the pre-portioned amount from the grocery store. Guessing about 6 stalks*)
- 1 540 mL can lentils *drained & rinsed*
- Warm oil on medium-high heat, then add chopped onions, potatoes & carrots. Season with garam masala & a few pinches of salt. Sauté until the onion turns translucent - about 5 mins.
- Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Then add your chopped kale & reduce heat to med-low. Let simmer with lid loose about 35-40 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lentils, stir and cook another 10 mins. Remove from heat and let sit about 5 mins before serving. Warmed Naan paired perfectly with this soup & would make a complete meal. Enjoy! Tag us on social @house_of_kerrs if you try.
Garam Masala Cauliflower Bites
A delicious way to enjoy baked cauli bites with the flavours of garam masala! Serve with our homemade yogurt dip! Delish!
Garam Masala Cauliflower Bites with Homemade Yogurt Dip | HouseofKerrs.com
- Sheet pan
- Mixing bowl
Baked Garam Masala Cauliflower Bites
- ½ head Cauliflower *chop florets into bite-sized portions*)
- Olive Oil *enough to gently coat the cauli*
- 2 tsp Garam Masala seasoning
- Coarse salt *to taste*
Garam Masala Yogurt Dip
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 stalk green onion *diced: white part goes in yogurt, green part to garnish the top*
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 clove garlic minced
- coarse salt *a pinch*
Baked Garam Masala Cauli Bites
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Add your cauli florets to a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle some salt. Toss well. Line your sheet pan with parchment paper & lay out your seasoned cauli florets. Bake on middle oven rack 15 mins, turning once mid-way. Remove & serve with the yogurt dip.
Garam Masala Yogurt Dip
- In the dip bowl you'll be using to serve, add your Greek yogurt, diced green onion, minced garlic, garam masala & pinch of salt. Mix well. Serve with your cauli bites (*Refrigerate if not serving right away*). Enjoy! Tag us on social if you try @House_of_Kerrs
Let us know what you think if your family gives one or all 3 of these recipes using garam masala a try! For more inspo on ways to bring international flavours to your kitchen try a recipe from our “Travel with Your Taste Buds” series!
Keep well, eat well,
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