20 Tasty Garam Masala Recipes
Garam masala is a spice mix that’s well-known to long-time fans of homemade Indian food. Since I began researching ways to prepare Indian cuisine over the past few years, I’ve come to realize just how many other ways this seasoning can be used to take even the simplest of foods to the next level of yum. Here are twenty tantalizing tips for using garam masala in your own kitchen. (See also: Cheap Ways to Add Big Flavor to Your Food)
Getting bored with your popcorn seasonings? Consider taking things in a new direction by sprinkling on a little garam masala after you add the butter. This suggestion came to me via Wise Bread’s Andrea Karim, and my family enjoys it on our movie night.
2. Green Beans
I’m always searching for ways to jazz up my French beans, and this simple recipe for masala green beans seems like a great place to start. With a side dish as full-flavored as this one, you won’t have any problem pairing it with plain white rice and a veggie patty or grilled pork chop.
3. Chicken Breast
This garam masala seasoned chicken breast takes a basic idea and dresses it up with the addition of a simple pantry seasoning. Paired with roasted vegetables, this menu exemplifies how garam masala can take even humble food ingredients like poultry and vegetables, and give them a bit of pizzazz.
We’ve been trying to incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into our diet for a while now, and cauliflower recipes are one of the most affordable ways to make it happen. Cauliflower is an inexpensive produce item, lasts for some time in the fridge, and is quite flexible. Since it can be prepared in a number of different ways, we tend to use it more often than some of the other veggies on the cruciferous list. That’s why when I saw this roasted cauliflower masala, I knew I had to work it into this piece.
5. Veggie Masala
This sauced vegetable masala is affordable, especially if you use frozen mixed vegetables to prepare the dish. It can easily be paired with rice or used as a dunking medium for traditional flatbread. Throw in an iced chai, and you’re good to go.
6. Chocolate Masala Gingerbread
On the prowl for a classy Christmas recipe you can have in your hip pocket when the Yule season rolls around? Try incorporating a bit of garam masala into your sweets. This chocolate masala gingerbread is certainly unique, yet still incorporates the traditional elements of the holiday.
7. Red Lentil Masala Soup
Lentil recipes are extremely affordable. I’ve always found it interesting that many people who don’t seem interested in consuming lentils on a regular basis light up when the topic of Indian lentil dishes comes up. The reason is all about the flavor, and garam masala frequently plays a role in that regard. This red lentil soup featured on Epicurious incorporates the seasoning with success and makes a nice backdrop for your favorite soup garnishes.
8. Afghani Chili
In a household that favors international cuisines, new recipe ideas are always welcome. And since the Middle East is a favored travel region for both my husband and I, finding this recipe for Afghan chili felt like major food coup. It made the cut for this article for several reasons. First and foremost, it uses garam masala. However, several other features of this recipe also caught my eye. First, it helps home cooks save money on meat by using ground beef combined with garbanzo beans. Since we don’t eat much meat these days and focus more on a plant-based diet, I might toss in tempeh instead. For carnivores looking to manage their grocery budget, however, the combination of protein elements is a savvy move. This recipe also incorporates frozen spinach, which is one of my favorite frugal foodie supplies.
9. Basmati Rice
If you love to use rice as a frequent side dish, then finding ways to season it without overpowering the rest of your menu is a nice way to jazz things up affordably. This garam-masala-seasoned basmati rice is a great way to start. I’m thinking of trying it the next time I prepare my beans and rice side dish of basmati and mung beans.
10. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Anyone who’s read Wise Bread for a while now is aware of just how much I favor easy crock pot recipes. Sometimes I think our house would literally shut down if you took away the slow cooker. So this chicken tikka masala recipe from the folks at Real Simple definitely caught my attention. The ingredient list is relatively short, with most of the items being fairly inexpensive to boot. I also like how it incorporates cucumbers as a way to lighten up the meal when served.
11. Butternut Squash and Pear Soup With Masala
I don’t know why I never thought of pairing garam masala with butternut squash on my own, but now that I’ve had it pointed out to me with this Indian-seasoned squash and pear soup, I find the idea exceptionally appealing. I guess you could say I’ve had my mental taste buds activated, and there’s no going back. With the simple ingredients this recipe calls for, it’s definitely classic frugal cooking at its best. Try some with a homemade bread mix and some chopped herbs for a hearty, affordable dinner.
12. Seasoned Stuffing
Searching for an easy-peasy way to enhance your Thanksgiving menu? Try throwing a teaspoon or two of garam masala in with your boxed stuffing mix when you prepare it. Your stuffing will have a flair that will go well with a homemade cranberry sauce and an internationally themed turkey recipe.
13. Lentil-Stuffed Tomatoes
I’m a huge fan of using lentils in ways that people might not expect. These stuffed tomatoes certainly took me by surprise and could easily be placed center stage at a small dinner party. Pair them with a simple salad and your favorite microbrew.
14. Black-Eyed Pea Masala
If you’ve been hunting for budget-friendly items to add to your organic vegan grocery list, then black-eyed peas are something I can wholeheartedly recommend. They cook quickly, combine well with a variety of other foods, and offer food flexibility in the form of dips, soups, stuffed collard rolls and more. This makes them one of my favorite supplies for eating vegan on the cheap. Want to try some out at home? Consider this black-eyed pea masala recipe from the people at Fat Free Vegan.
15. Slow-Cooker Chickpea Masala
If vegetarian crock pot recipes float your boat, then this garbanzo curry dish from the Savvy Vegetarian is sure to please. It features ingredients such as garlic, tomatoes, and onions along with basic pantry spices for an affordable meal you can set to simmer while you run errands or take the kids to soccer practice.
16. Roasted Nuts
Roasted nuts make a great party snack, hostess gift, or holiday stocking stuffer. They are also great to have on hand when you need some easy lunch ideas for work or simply want to stuff some high-protein snacks in your messenger bag. While there are many ways you can go with this idea, these spiced nuts seasoned with garam masala provide an international flavor with a frugal price tag.
17. Lentils and Sweet Potatoes
Personally, I’m always stoked when I find more ways to cook with brown lentils, as they are one of the most inexpensive and versatile protein sources out there. They also cook quicker than beans, making them a helpful addition to any home pantry. These garam masala spiced lentils and sweet potatoes combine for an affordable and filling dinner.
18. Eggplant Chips
If eggplants are part of your vegetable gardening efforts, then preparing these seasoned eggplant chips should make using your produce a snap. Serve with a cool dip for a snack or casual party appetizer paired with your favorite wine.
19. Spiced Cookies
Do you prefer your cookies a bit on the savory side? These cookies spiced with garam masala would be a fun item to serve at your next afternoon tea party. Whether you’re hosting a Mommy and Me event or serving tea cocktails for an inexpensive girlfriends gathering, home-baked cookies and other easy, sweet treats are a cost-effective way to take things up a notch.
20. Holiday Cake
I enjoy putting a bit of international flair into my holiday baking efforts, so this special-occasion garam masala cake recipe was a fun find. It’s shown baked as a bundt cake, which is always a winner when you’re going for casual elegance without a great deal of fuss. A little glazed icing drizzled over the top, and you’ve a sophisticated ending to any holiday meal.
Whether you lean towards curries or confections, subtle seasoning additions or scrumptious snacks, chances are there’s a way to incorporate garam masala successfully into your diet. I get mine by buying in bulk at the nearest Patel Brothers store, but any Southwest Asian grocery store can offer similar savings.
Do you have a favorite way to use garam masala in your kitchen creations? Please feel free to share your ideas below.