I've had a jar of garam masala sitting on my counter for the last two months. I picked it up for an Indian inspired burger recipe that I still haven't gotten around to making, so it's been rather sad and lonely. I smell it at least once or twice a week (and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite scents) and have even tasted it a few times, but I've got to admit...I've been a little bit intimidated by it.
Pretty silly, right?
And like most ingredients I'm intimidated by - risotto, chiles in adobo sauce, shallots, wild rice - after using it once, I can't figure out why I was so nervous about it. I added a bit of garam masala to a glazed carrot recipe I've been making, and it just took them to a whole new level. It's a bit too late to work this into my Thanksgiving menu and they're a bit similar in concept to sweet potatoes, but I think they'll make a great side dish to Christmas dinner. Even better, I can steam the carrots earlier in the day and then saute them in the glaze to heat back up while the meat rests right before dinner.
Best of all? It's one of those great dishes that is naturally gluten-free and good for you.
So...what is garam masala? Quite simply, garam masala is a spice blend used throughout India and the Indian subcontinent. It can vary somewhat depending on region and cook, but I'm guessing that the jar I picked up at Whole Foods is pretty middle of the road. I think once it's empty I'll try making it from scratch. And a word of warning - use a light hand with the garam masala. It can easily overpower the carrots if you add too much.
Garam Masala Glazed Carrots
1 pound carrots, cut into 2" pieces (or coins if you prefer)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sucanat (brown sugar works just fine too)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
in microwave or on stovetop
In saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and add sucanat. Allow to get hot and bubbly, then add carrots. Saute carrots in glaze for a minute or two, add garam masala and saute for a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
The leftovers aren't too bad either...if there are any!
I am so glad I got over my garam masala intimidation. Is there anything in your kitchen you've been meaning to try but haven't yet? What's holding you back?
This recipe is linked to: