Friday, June 28, 2013

Fiery Veggie Masala and Cucumber-Mint Raita

This masala is SPICY. 

This is another thing I made for Bachelor-watching Indian Feast night. I wanted to make something seriously spicy to go with raita. Raita is a refreshing yogurt sauce designed to relieve the burn of a tinglingly-hot dish. If I was making the raita, I wanted to really NEED the raita. So I made a basic chana (chickpea) masala with cauliflower, and just loaded it up with jalapenos, fresh red chiles, and cayenne.
If you want a delicious, hearty vegetarian meal without the burn, just halve or eliminate the spicy things in the recipe.
Lastly--raita is a wonderful sauce. So easy to make, and pairs great with any number of things. It takes about three minutes to make.

Veggie Masala of FIRE


  • 2 TB butter or oil 
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I blitzed mine in the food processor) 
  • a 4 inch, chubby piece of garlic, minced or grated (I blitzed this up with the garlic) 
  • 3 TB garam masala spice power
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 2 TB sugar 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large 32oz can of diced tomatoes (or use crushed tomatoes for a smoother sauce)
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped up or pulled into florets 
  • 3 jalapenos, diced, with seeds
  • 2 red hot chiles, minced (note: I bought a bag at the Asian grocery and keep it in the freezer--they freeze great) 
  • 1 TB cayenne pepper 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped 

What to do:

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and saute until barely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, cinnamon,, and cumin, and fry the spices with the onions and butter for about a minutes (this brings out more fragrance and flavor). Add the ginger and garlic and continue cooking for a few more minutes. All the ingredients should be cooking through and your kitchen should smell great. It's ok if the mixture begins to look at bit dry.
Add the canned tomatoes to the pot--don't drain. Mix, scraping up all the spice which may have started burning on the bottom of the pot. Get the tomatoes simmering, then add the sugar, chick peas, cauliflower, jalapenos, chiles, cayenne, and a dash of salt. The sugar helps the tomatoes "meld" and gets rid of the metallic "canned" taste.
Cover the pot and let everything simmer on low for about ten minutes.
Taste--does it need salt? Do you want it even spicier? More sugar? Season to taste.
Allow to cool slightly. Mix in the chopped cilantro.
 Serve with raita!


Cucumber-Mint Raita

1.5 cups of plain yogurt (don't use nonfat)
half of a cucumber, grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 TB (a small handful?) of mint leaves
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste

What to do

Put the yogurt in whatever container you plan to use.
Toast the cumin and fennel seeds in a dry pan. To do this, get the pan hot and add the seeds. Shake the pan a bit to prevent burning. They should be toasted in about a minute. Add to the yogurt.
Grate your half cucumber and add to the yogurt.
Chop the mint finely and add to the yogurt.
Juice the lemon and add to the yogurt.
Sprinkle in a pinch of salt.
Mix everything.
You have raita!

Finished raita!



  1. Oh wow, this sounds delicious! I love spicy and the addition of Raita would make it amazing :) I want some!