Cooking with Stella

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Spice Powders

It is possible to buy commercially made Indian spice powders, but making your own yields a fresher, better tasting powder and is not at all time consuming. Stella would always grind her own spice powders. They are easy to make at home. A coffee grinder works well for grinding the spices.

Garam Masala

Adds aroma and depth of flavour without any chile heat.

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Preheat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat, and dry roast spices, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes, until very fragrant. Pour spices back into the bowl, let cool for a few minutes, then grind to a powder in a coffee grinder or spice grinder. When completely cooled store in a clean glass jar. Use in recipes or sprinkle on fresh corn or hot poppadoms.

Sambhar Powder

Gives chile heat and a toasted aromatic depth of flavour.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast each ingredient separately (they cook at different rates, and the chiles can burn quickly) until browned and aromatic, then combine in a bowl. Let cool a little then grind in a spice/coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Let powder cool completely before storing in a well-sealed jar.

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