Garam Masala is a wickedly marvelous combination of spices that has recently ignited my imagination with an absurdly large number of recipe ideas. And when I mean ignite, I mean “ka-poom, bang, pow,” my brain has been exploding with potential garam masala recipes. An MRI scan of my brain might just reveal visual signs of culinary fireworks going off in my prefrontal cortex.
One of these recipe ideas has been to prepare a healthier, vegan version of conventional mushroom marsala. Conventional mushroom marsala contains a whopping lot of cream and who needs cream? My arteries certainly don’t. And neither does my heart, or brain, or any other organ of my body. Given my body’s dislike of cream but love of delicious Indian spices, it was high time I ventured to the kitchen for a little bit of garam marsala lovin’.
Note: You will not like this recipe if you do not like mushrooms or Indian spices. You have been warned. If however you adore mushrooms and Indian spices, press onward to the rest of this blog post with alacrity (ohhhh SAT word hello: alacrity = brisk and cheerful readiness).
Note 2x: We must discuss what garam masala is before I continue with the recipe because garam masala is just that interesting. Up your culinary IQ today and continue reading…
GARAM MASALA 411
The name garam masala literally translates as “warm spice mix.” It is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, mace, peppercorns, coriander and cumin. It is quite the mix, if I do say (actually the correct word would be write or blog!) so myself.* Each spice provides a unique flavor to the mix and garam masala spice mixes will pack a strong (and delicious!) flavor punch to any recipe. It is a genius combination: cinnamon provides sweetness, pepper provides heat, nutmeg adds a layer of complexity and coriander is the source of a lemony flavor and texture.
Even though garam translates as “heat,” this doesn’t mean that the spices are hot. What this means is that the spices raise the heat of the body by raising the metabolism.
*I think we need to create the new phrase, “If I do blog so myself.” Who is with me?! I think I am going to need to consult other bloggers on this matter.
You are getting closer to RECIPE TIME!
My dad and I love this recipe. We like Indian food more than my mother and even she said it was a success and that she would be a fan if she had a palate for spicy food. So thank you, padre y madre!
This recipe is fast and it makes two large servings worth, so I recommend doubling it if you want leftovers to last you for more than a few days or you are preparing dinner for a large family. I didn’t use the cashew cream sauce this time because everything looked so scrumptious in my pan as is and just before I was about to add the cashew cream sauce, I decided I was in the mood for lighter fare on this Monday, June 17th. Today is my sister’s birthday, by the way. I will always be a fan of June 17th, given this reason.
I love you, Jenna!!! Happy Happy Birthday!
This is a picture of my siblings and I last summer on vacation in Mexico. Jenna is the sister to the right of me (I am the one on the left wearing pink). Cara is my sister all the way on the right and Sean is my 11-year-old brother. I remember that trip with the fondest of memories. The beach at sunset was terribly beautiful.
Well now that we’ve covered what garam marsala is, I’ve given Jenna a birthday shout out (she just turned 22!), and I’ve provided you with a visual of my siblings, I think we are all ready for today’s recipe, You GLOW Girl Green Mushroom Marsala!
RECIPE TIME (for realz)
Try preparing this recipe with or without the cashew cream sauce and let me know how you like it.
An important thing to remember is to add the spices with the raw garlic, onions, wine and vegetable broth (in the beginning of cooking). In general, I like to saute spices with onions and garlic before adding the other vegetables because it heightens the flavors of the spices.
Ingredients (makes 2 large servings):
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, sliced
10 shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cups organic raw baby spinach
1 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
Handful parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1-1.5 tablespoon Garam Masala, to taste*
1/3 cup cashew cream (optional)**
*Adjust amount to spice preferences (We like a modest kick of spice in our house so I added 1 tablespoon and it was perfect!).
**To prepare cashew cream, blend 1/3 cup raw cashews with 1/4 cup boiling water in a blender. Blend until a smooth cream forms.
1) In a medium sauce pan, water sauté minced garlic, diced onions, marsala wine, vegetable broth for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. After 5 minutes of heating, add garam marsala, thyme and nutritional yeast to the garlic and onion sauté.
2) Add sliced shiitake mushrooms, diced portobello and two large handfuls of baby spinach to the pan and continue to stir frequently. The baby spinach should wilt after just a few minutes.
3) Simmer for about 10 more minutes and then add cashew cream, if using.
4) Upon cooking with cashew cream for five more minutes, your meal will be done! Fyi: if you decide not to use the cashew cream sauce, your meal will still be done at this point!
This dish is simple to prepare, but its flavors are totally unboring. Anything unboring and delicious = perfect for my belly. I hope your belly finds this dish just as delish!
Peace, love and KALE <3