March April 2018
From Julie Van Rosendaal
Calcutta Cricket Club on 17th Avenue has started serving brunch; on the menu, a Bengali masala-spiced granola is heavy on the cinnamon, cardamom and clove.
Chef Rene’s Bengali Masala Granol
This granola dish is super versatile – you can eat it alone as a snack, sprinkled on pancakes, or serve it with yogurt and fruit like they do for brunch at Calcutta Cricket Club.
2-1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. coconut flakes
3 T. sesame seeds
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. currants
3 t. ground Bengali garam masala (recipe follows)
1 t. salt
3/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whip the canola oil and maple syrup until a thick consistency is achieved. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the mixture onto a sheet pan and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the edges don’t burn. Let cool and serve with fruits and yogurt. Makes about 4 c.
Bengali Garam Masala:
Garam masalas vary from region to region in India, and often have a ton of different spices. The classic Bengali version is super simple, with only three main ingredients: cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. Sometimes they add bay leaf as well, but this is the most common. They showcase it at Calcutta Cricket Club in a couple of dishes – the paneer and honey and the roasted carrot and peas. They also use it extensively to finish curries, adding it during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
8-10 whole cloves
1-1/2 to 2-inch cinnamon stick
15-20 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
Lightly dry roast whole spices in a pan, being careful not to burn them. Cool and pulse to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Store in a sealed container.