Masala Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons ghee or canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 serrano chile, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, pureed until smooth

Honey

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chile de arbol or cayenne powder (depending on how spicy you like it)

1/2 cup water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup heavy cream

Chopped cilantro leaves

1 red onion, cut into thin rings and soaked in ice water

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Peas:

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/4 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion

6 cardamom pods

4 whole cloves

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

2 1/4 cups simmering water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

3/4 cup frozen green peas

Directions

  1. Heat the ghee in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion and cook until soft and lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger, chile and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, paprika, and garam masala and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, honey, to taste, the chile de arbol or cayenne and 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken to the sauce and cook for a few minutes, just to heat through. Serve over basmati rice pilaf with peas and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Peas:

  1. Put the rice in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water several times. Set aside and let drain.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they just begin to pop, about 20 seconds. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, rice, the simmering water, salt, pepper and lime juice, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, about 10 minutes Fold in the peas, then over, reduce heat to low, and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove and discard the cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon and fluff with a fork. Transfer the pilaf to a serving dish and serve.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they just begin to pop, about 20 seconds. Add onion; saute 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, rice, the simmering water, salt and pepper and lime juice, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed. Fold in the peas. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 8 to minutes longer. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes uncovered. Remove and discard cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon and fluff with a fork.

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