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Recipes - C Is For Cumin, Cardamom, Coriander, Cinnamon And Clove


How to make fresh Garam Masala using the 5 spices and more....

    10 tablespoons cumin seeds
    10 tablespoons coriander seeds
    10 tablespoons cardamom seeds
    10 tablespoons black peppercorns
    5 stick cinnamon, broken up
    5 teaspoon whole cloves
    5 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Put the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they turn several shades darker and give off a sweet smoky aroma, about 10 minutes. Do not raise the heat to quicken the process, or the spices will brown prematurely, leaving the insides undercooked. Cool completely.
Working in batches if necessary, transfer the mixture to a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the nutmeg. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Vegetable Biryani

1/2 tsp saffron, crumbled
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, soaked in cold water 10 minutes and drained
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 plum tomatoes (about 1/2lb) peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 oz green beans, cut into thirds (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 oz (about 1/2 cup) cashews

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine saffron and milk in a small bowl; set aside. Place rice in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until rice has absorbed all the water, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until golden brown and slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove half the onions from pan, and reserve. Add remaining tablespoon oil along with the spices, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Pour 1 cup water into pan; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add green beans, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, and salt; reduce heat to a simmer and cover pan. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add peas, and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

4. Place one-third of the rice in a 3 1/2 quart heavy-bottom casserole or baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. Drizzle half the saffron milk over rice. Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the vegetable mixture to the casserole, leaving liquid behind. Place one-third of rice on top; drizzle with remaining saffron milk. Repeat with remaining vegetables and rice. Spread reserved onions over the top; sprinkle with cashews.

5. Cover, and bake until casserole is heated through and aromatic, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly before serving.

Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 garlic clove -- chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger -- finely grated and peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons olive oil -- or canola
1 large onion -- thinly sliced
Assorted chopped veggies (i.e. zucchini -- butternut, eggplant, carrots, bell pepper, etc.)
1 can light coconut milk -- well stirred
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 Cup cashews, dry-roasted -- chopped

Toast mustard and cumin seeds and cool.
Pound garlic and ginger to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large heavy knife), then stir in garam maasala, coriander, and mustard and cumin seeds.

Heat oil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add veggies and cook, stirring, until it begins to appear moist, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and remaining teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until veggies are cooked.

Serve sprinkled with cilantro and cashews.

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