It's like a soup starter - but a curry starter! Think of this Punjabi Masala as a head start for virtually any North Indian curry. In the weeks before my own wedding, my mother made buckets of this mixture so that small amounts could be pulled out for quick meals during the two-week celebration. Consider yourself now privy to the 'secret sauce' that most Punjabi families keep on hand for quick and easy meals during the week.
Cooking Tip: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cook until the seeds sizzle. Add 1 pound of protein (paneer, tofu, chicken, beef, or pork, lamb, or fish), cook through, add 1/2 jar of Punjabi Masala, 1 cup of vegetables, and 2 teaspoons each of garam masala, red chile powder, and salt. Mix well and add 4 cups of water. Simmer 15-20 minutes until it thickens slightly and your ingredients cook through. Make the popular dish Mattar Paneer (peas and cheese) by using paneer as your protein and peas as your vegetables, following the recipe above. Serve with basmati rice, roti, or naan.
Here's what you can make with our Punjabi Masala:
Stovetop: Mattar Paneer
Instant Pot Rajmah
Stovetop: Chana Masala, Curried Chickpeas
Kala Chana with Punjabi Masala
Stovetop: Split Moong Dal
Quick and Easy Mattar Paneer
Soy Nugget Curry