Archive for the 'Condiments & Spice blends' Category

Feb 01 2010

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Published by under Condiments & Spice blends

Here is a secret about my eating habits that only people close to me know. I cannot stand the taste of fresh tomatoes! I think I am crazy! But it is true. I can eat any amounts of tomatoes when they are cooked, but not raw. So I use ketchup on my burgers and sandwiches instead of fresh tomatoes.

This is derived from a recipe that John and Patty shared with me. John and Patty are working on their cook book where they will have healthy recipes and information on harmful chemical ingredients found in prepackaged foods like MSG. More information can also be found on their website.

I have modified John and Patty’s recipe a bit to suit our taste. The first 3 ingredients are the essential ingredients to making a ketchup. You can can use other spices to your liking. I have added 8 ounces of tomato sauce to make the ketchup a little thinner, so if you like your ketchup to be thick, leave it out.

Ketchup can be used as a base to make other condiments like BBQ sauce, Russian salad dressing, cocktail sauce etc.

14 oz tomato paste
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and cook on medium heat until the mixture just starts to bubble (about 10 minutes). As EASY as that!

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Sep 10 2009

Meat Masala

Published by under Condiments & Spice blends

In some of my Indian recipes I have posted on this website, I have used an ingredient called “Meat Masala”. This is nothing more than a blend of spices that goes into preparing any meat dish. The term “Masala” in Hindi means blend of spices. Indians use various blends of spices( masalas) that are used for different dishes, like fish masala for a fish curry, sambhar masala which is used for a south Indian lentil and vegetables curry and many more.

Meat Masala

In India, each family has their own recipe for the masala. This is safely guarded secret recipe that is handed down from generation to generation and tweaked as per the liking of the person making it. The ingredients in the masala vary. Some masalas have few and manageable ingredients and some have as many as 50. This masala is usually made at home in large quantities to suffice the family for at least 1 year.

Once a year the women of the family would shop for the ingredients and get together to roast and pound them using a stone mortar and pestle. This tradition is slowly being lost in the hustle and bustle of the busy lifestyle that people now live. These days it is much more convenient to purchase the masala at the grocery store.

To those who wish to try my recipes that call for the meat masala, here are a few tips:
1. Check to see if you have an Indian grocery store in the neighborhood and buy the masala there. Check to see the manufactured date on the box, the fresher the better!
2. Try and find it online. Though I think it may be a bit expensive buying online.
3. Use the curry powder which is now available in many supermarkets.
4. Make you own blend with the spices you already have in the pantry. Some of the common ingredients and proportions in the meat masala are:

  • chillies(65%)
  • cardamons(3%)
  • coriander(6%)
  • cloves(3%)
  • turmeric(6%)
  • cinnamon(3%)
  • cumin(6%)
  • black Cialis for sale pepper(6%)
  • nutmeg(1%)
  • bay leaves(1%)

The masala tastes best when freshly ground. Ideally stone ground is prefered compared to a spice mill, as the masala does not get heated. If you make more than you need for a recipe, store the remaining masala in an airtight jar in a cool, dry and dark place.

Meat masala is not limited to meat dishes only. It can even be added to beans and other vegetable curries. Adding more masala than what the recipe calls for may result in the dish tasting a little bitter. Always lower the heat and add the masala while cooking so that it doesn’t burn. Add the masala to the recipe and cook it for a couple of minutes before adding the liquids to get rid of the raw taste.

Hope this post helps you to understand the very versatile ingredient in my kitchen!

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