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Hindu Recipes

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Garam Masala

1 large cinnamon stick, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Spread out all the spices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool to room temperature. Grind all the spices together to a powder. Will keep in a tightly capped jar for several months. Makes about 1/2 cup.


1 cup lentils
6 cups water
Salt to taste
3 ripe, med. tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
4 tablespoons ghee or butter
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 dry red hot peppers
1/2 chopped fresh coriander

Bring all ingredients, except fresh coriander, to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the lentils are tender, (approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Before serving sprinkle coriander on top. Stir. Serve hot with rice or bread. (Could use pita bread.) Makes 4 to 6 servings.


1 large ripe tomato
6 hot green peppers
2 cups chopped fresh coriander
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree. Chill and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Quick Chicken Curry

1 broiler-fryer chicken*
Lemon juice
2 onions
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
1 inch of gingerroot
Oil for sautéing
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tsp. garam masala**
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili powder, cayenne
pepper or paprika
6 green cardamoms, if available
6 whole cloves
Two-inch piece of cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 large can tomatoes, drained

*Chicken parts such as drumsticks and breasts can be used, but do not used boneless parts. Indians feel that the bone marrow contributes to the flavor of the dish.

**Garam masala is a combination of spices. See previous recipe.

Skin the chicken. Rub with lemon juice. Set aside. Mince the onions, garlic and ginger.

Heat a small amount of oil in a Dutch oven and fry the onions, garlic, and ginger with the coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and chili, stirring constantly. When you think the vegetables are about half done, add cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamon stick; continue cooking and stirring until onion is transparent.

With a cleaver cut chicken into small chunks. Add chicken to the pan, stirring to coat with spices. When chicken has changed from pink to white, add salt, yoghurt and tomatoes. Cover and simmer until done, about 45 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Orange Cucumber Raita

1 cucumber
Salt to taste
2 cups, plain whole milk yoghurt
1 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander

Wash and peel the cucumber. Cut in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and discard. Grate cucumber and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for an hour.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt and sour cream well. Add oranges. Squeeze the water from the cucumber by hand. Add the cucumber to the yoghurt mixture. Mix well. Garnish with coriander. Serve chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Almond Barfi

2 (8 oz.) cans almond paste
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped almonds

Break up almond paste in a large saucepan. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Place over low heat and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and very thick, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Shape 1 tablespoon of almond paste mixture into a 2-inch log; roll in chopped almonds. Place on waxed paper to cool . Repeat with remaining mixture. Makes 48 pieces of candy.

Indian Railway Tea

2 cups water
3 to 4 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
3 to 4 cardamom pods, cracked open
4 tsp. loose black tea
2 cups milk
4 tablespoon sugar (or a little less)

Bring water and spices to a boil, then add tea to boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes or longer, depending on desired spiciness. Add milk to tea-spice mixture and heat, but do not boil. When hot, strain. Then add sugar to tea. Stir. Keep hot until served. Makes 1 quart.

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