Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants


Garam Masala Chicken Curry

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Gryffon Ridge Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Gryffon Ridge Garam Masala
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, stemmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can of unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pound of raw chicken thighs or breasts chopped into bite sized pieces


  1. In a large saucepan or pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. I add one piece of onion to the heating oil, and when it starts to sizzle, I know it’s ready. Add the finely chopped red onion and apple. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, and cook, stirring every little while to prevent browning or burning, for 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic, and stir, cooking for about 1 more minute, or until the tomatoes start losing their shape, and melting into the onions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, garam masala, and curry powder. Add just enough water to create a slurry, about 2 tablespoons or so. The water helps protect the sensitive spices from burning when you add them to the pan. Add the spice mixture to the pan once the tomatoes are done, stir constantly for 30 seconds, or until you start smelling the spices. Don’t overcook or the spices will become bitter. Add the broth and coconut milk, salt generously (unless you are using pre-salted broth) and bring to a low simmer. If you are using sweetener, also add at this point. Simmer with the lid off for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chicken. If using raw chicken pieces cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through. If using chicken shreds, reheat in sauce until heated through.
  5. Serve with chopped cilantro, and, if desired, an unsweetened yogurt. Serve over rice of choice (I recommend basmati), or with homemade flat bread.

Coriander & Mint Chutney

Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

2 1/2 Cups Fresh Cilantro
1/2 cup Fresh Mint leaves
1/2 Small onion, coarsely chopped
8 Cloves Garlic
1” cube of Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Green Chile Peppers (the small, hot ones)
1/4 Cup Lemon juice (fresh)
2-3 Tbsp. Water
1 Tsp. Cumin seeds
Sea Salt to taste

Blend or puree all ingredients above to a smooth consistency in either a food processor or blender.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze and use as needed.

Ghee (Clarified butter)

Image result for ghee

1 lb. Unsalted Butter

Heat the unsalted butter in a heavy pot over a low flame.  It will slowly melt and start simmering.  Gradually you will see the foam and/or scum rise to the top, and the milk solids settle to the bottom of the pot as the liquid becomes transparent.  Be careful not to burn the solids at the bottom of the pot. They should remain at a deep yellow color with tinges of brown in them.

The foam at the top will slowly clear up and get settle to the bottom also.  Once the liquid has achieved a transparent golden color it is done.  Do not stir.  Strain the clarified butter through a fine strainer and/or cheesecloth and discard the solids.

Ghee at room temperature looks semi-solid. It does not need to be refrigerated and will keep for many months.  It has a much higher flashpoint than regular butter and will add an extra richness to the Indian foods you use it in.

Gujarati Dal Curry
Serves 4

This is a hot, yet sweet curry that comes from northwestern India.  Very hard to resist on a cool day.

1/2 Cup Moong Dal (Split Green Lentils)
1/2 Cup Chana Dal (Split Yellow Peas)
2 Tbsp. Ghee or Peanut Oil
1 Tsp. Black or Yellow Mustard Seeds
2 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Cayenne (Adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp. Asafoetida
1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 Oz.)
1/4 Cup Jaggery or Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Minced Fresh Cilantro
10-12 Curry Leaves (Fresh if possible)

Rinse the dal in a medium sized pan until the water remains relatively clear and then drain.  Add 3 cups of water to the pan and bring to a boil uncovered, over medium-high heat.  Skim off and discard any foam that forms. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer until the dal is tender, about 35 minutes.

While the dal is cooking, heat the ghee in a small skillet.  Add the mustard seeds, cover the skillet, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cumin seeds, sea salt, cayenne, asafoetida, and turmeric.  Stir briefly then add the tomatoes with their juice, the jaggery, cilantro, and curry leaves.  Return the skillet to medium-high heat and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes.

When the dal has cooked coarsely mash the lentils and some of the split peas with a spoon.  Stir in the sauce, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the seasonings blend with the dal.

Enjoy with Basmati rice, Nan, or other soft breads.

Basmati Rice with Black Cardamom

Serves 4

A smoky dish that hails from Kashmir, this is known as a pulao.  Western culture would call it a pilaf.

1 Cup Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
5 Black Cardamom Pods
2 Bay Leaves
1 Small Red Onion – Thinly sliced
1/4 Tsp. Saffron
1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Rinse the rice in cold water until the water is relatively clear. Drain the rice and then cover with fresh cold water and let sit at room temperature until the grains begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the ghee in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in the cardamom pods and bay leaves.  Cook until they swell up and smell aromatic.  Immediately add the onion and cook, stirring until it is light brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the saffron.  Add the drained rice and toss gently with the onion and spice mixture.  Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cold water and add the salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for a full ten minutes.

Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.  Be sure to not eat the cardamom pods or bay leaves as they can be rather bitter.

Fish in Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from Raghavan Iyer (660 Curries)

1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 lb. Skinless Fish Fillets (Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Tilapia if you have to)
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Tsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Peanut or Mustard Oil
1 Tbsp. Panch Phoron
2 Dried Chiles
1 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
1 1/2 Tsp. Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Cilantro

Sprinkle the Turmeric over both sides of the fish fillets and rub it in to the flesh.  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight.  Blend the sugar and salt with the yogurt in a bowl and set aside.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the Panch Phoron and chiles and cook until the chiles blacken and the spices are aromatic.  Immediately add the fish fillets and sear them on both sides on the bed of roasted spices, about 30 seconds per side.  Transfer the fish to a plate.  Add the onion and ginger to the skillet and stir-fry until the onion is lightly browned.  Add the yogurt mixture and stir to incorporate the onion and spices.  Bring the sauce to a boil and add the fish fillets.  Spoon the sauce over the fillets and poach them uncovered until the fish just begins to flake, about 3-5 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with either Jasmine or Basmati rice and some soft breads.

Mulligatawny Soup

Serves 4

1 Tbsp. Ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion, chopped
6 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger Root, grated
2 Green Chiles, chopped
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves
2 Tsp. Coriander Powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Cumin Powder
1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
4 Green Cardamom Pods, bruised
1 Tbsp. Curry Leaves, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped
1 Apple – peeled, cored, and chopped
1 Large Potato, peeled and diced
1 Cup Masoor dal (red lentils), rinsed and drained
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Cups Coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
1 Bunch Chard or Kale, chopped

Heat ghee or vegetable oil in large pan (use low heat); cook onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, spices and curry leaves, stirring, until onion is browned lightly and mixture is fragrant.

Add carrot, celery, apple, potato, dal, and chicken stock to pan; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Discard cardamom pods

Blend or process soup mixture, in batches, until pureed. An immersion blender works really well for this. Be extremely careful if pureeing hot liquids in a blender.  Return the pureed liquid to the pan. Add tamarind, lemon juice, coconut milk, cilantro, and chard. Cook while stirring until everything is heated through and the chard begins to wilt.

This actually gets even better if it is allowed to sit overnight before serving.

Lamb with Tomatoes and Peas

Serves 4

1 1/2 Lbs. Lamb (May substitute boneless Chicken Thighs)
1 Large Onion
1 15 oz. Can Coconut Milk
1/2 lb. Fresh or Frozen Peas
2 Medium Tomatoes Chopped or 1 15 oz. Can
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Juice from half a Lime
2-3 Tbsp. Garam Masala
2 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro (Fresh if possible)
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Thinly slice onion and sauté in pan over medium heat in olive oil.  Meanwhile, cut Lamb or boneless chicken thighs in to 1 inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.  When onion has turned translucent, stir in your Garam Masala and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add your meat and brown on all sides.  Once meat has browned, pour in coconut milk and add tomatoes along with their liquid.  Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is tender (about 30 – 60 minutes).  Five minutes before serving, add peas and the juice of half a lime.  Simmer until peas are tender. Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with Jasmine or Basmati rice.

Khatte Chicken

Serves 6

2 Lbs. Boneless Chicken
3 Tbsp. Ground Almonds
1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp. Minced or Crushed Garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. Grated Ginger
3 Green Chiles (Serrano) ~ Sliced into 1/8” or less rings
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Cup Yogurt
1 Medium Onion ~ Sliced into 1/8” or less rings
Saffron ~ A few threads dissolved in 3 Tbsp. Milk
4 Tbsp. Butter

Make a marinade of Ground Almonds, Black Pepper, Salt, Cumin Seed, Garlic, Ginger, Chilies, Lemon Juice, and Yogurt.  Slice chicken into 1 inch strips/pieces and cover with marinade ensuring that chicken is well coated and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 325? F.  Grease an oven proof shallow dish.  Place the chicken pieces in it and arrange the onions over the chicken pieces.  Pour the left over marinade evenly over the chicken and dot it with small pieces of butter.  Place in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove, sprinkle saffron milk over the chicken, and return to oven for another 10 minutes.  Check for doneness and serve hot with Basmati Rice, Raita, Naan, and Chutney.

Cucumber & Tomato Chaat Salad

Serves 4

An ideal accompaniment to curry dishes, it also pairs well with roast poultry, barbecued pork, and grilled beef.

1 Medium Cucumber
1 Large Tomato
1/2 Small Red Onion
1 Tbsp. Cilantro ~ Minced
1/2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger ~ Minced
1/8 Tsp. Cumin Seed – Lightly toasted
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 1/2 Tsp. Chaat Masala
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

If the cucumber is waxed, peel before using.  Slice the cucumber into quarters lengthwise, and then cut across the quarters into 1/4-inch pieces.  Dice the tomato. Chop the red onion.  Combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, cilantro, ginger, and cumin seeds.  At this point the salad may be covered and chilled for up to two hours until ready to serve.  About five minutes before serving, toss the salad with the Chaat Masala and lime juice, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and serve.

If your red onion is a hot one, try grilling it for several minutes until it begins to blacken.  Allow it to cool and then add to the salad.  Grilling will sweeten it a bit.

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