Welcome guest blogger Cherie Scott, who made the improbable journey from her birth place in India to a small town in Maine (with stops in Vancouver and New York City), where she now writes her aptly-named blog Mumbai to Maine. There she reconnects with her Indian-Portuguese roots through family recipes and nostalgic anecdotes – it’s a culinary journey across cultures and the Atlantic.
Garam masala is a common spice blend in Indian cuisine, like the blend herbes de Provence in French cuisine. It varies by region and family, but often contains black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black and green cardamom pods, bay leaf, cumin, fennel, coriander, chili and even rose petals. Because it is so personalized, and often made fresh when needed, you will find that there is no single recipe for this mix. In Hindi, the word “garam” means warm, and “masala” means spice mix. Following Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India, the spices in garam masala should awaken all six senses, bring them into balance and inspire warmth in the belly. We think this recipe will do just that.
Garam Masala Poussin
4 tablespoons of butter
3 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons of garam masala
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees on convection.
Rinse the poussins gently under cold water.
Use a kitchen paper towel and gently pat them dry inside out.
Melt the butter in the microwave for 40 seconds, or gently in a small pot on low heat.
In the warm butter, add the turmeric, chili powder, paprika and garam masala. Let sit in the butter and infuse it gently.
Brush the birds with the spiced butter and make sure to brush the insides.
Place in a heavy bottomed pan in the oven for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Meanwhile prepare the…
Chorizo Rice Stuffing
1 cup of basmati rice
1 package D’Artagnan chorizo, chopped into small chunks
4 tablespoons of ghee or clarified butter (EVOO is a fine replacement)
1 small Spanish or yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 brown cardamom- semi-crushed to release flavor but not pods
8 black Malabar peppercorns- whole
1 large Turkish bay leaf
10 threads of saffron
1 3/4 cup of chicken stock
Soak the rice in cold water for 15 minutes, drain well and set aside.
Use a heavy-bottomed round cocotte or Dutch oven.
Sauté the onions in the ghee or olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat, do not burn.
Add the minced garlic and stir frequently.
Add the chopped chorizo and sauté for 5 minutes until the chorizo releases it spices.
Add the cardamom and large bay leaf, peppercorns and stir for 2 minutes mixing well with the chorizo.
Add the rice and sauté with the mixture for 30 seconds.
Add the chicken stock and saffron and stir well.
Bring to a boil on high heat and then cover and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve this exotic rice with the spiced up poussins or alternately, allow the pilaf to cool first and then stuff the poussins before roasting in the oven. Either way, your palette is in for a treat!