Monday, April 28, 2014

Oven Baked Curry Fries With A Tikka Masala Sauce + A Giveaway

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

I've been delving into Indian cooking with increasing frequency as of late. I don't know if it's my admiration for a generous use of tomatoes, or my love of their frequent creamy-spicy flavor combination, but I simply can't get enough of it these days. There's just such an amazing array of spices and flavors in their cooking that traditional western cuisine doesn't have. So when McCormick approached me to develop a recipe for their Modern Masala program, I could not have been more on board (I believe my exact thought process was 'ohmergod YES.') Modern Masala refers to an aspect of their 2014 Flavor Forecast that expects Indian cooking to go beyond traditional eastern dishes, with Indian flavors being infused into new and modern culinary scenes. Jafrezi is a great example of this; it's a heavily spiced curry dish that is stir-fried in oil so it's more paste-like in texture than the more water and cream-based Indian curries we're used to seeing in the west. This dish is slowly but surely spreading outside of its current realms of popularity in Pakistan, the UK, and India and making its way through North America and western Europe. While I was tempted to make it for this post, I decided to do an Indian fusion dish, and drew my inspiration from the Canadian favorite, poutine.

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

Poutine is basically french fries covered in a gravy-like sauce and topped with cheese curds (I've been wanting to make actual poutine for a while but have yet to find readily available cheese curds). I decided to make it a bit healthier by baking the fries in the oven and coating them in a McCormick curry powder-olive oil base to get them nice and crispy on the outside. And instead of covering it with gravy, I made a tikka masala sauce and poured it over the top. Tikka masala is a creamy tomato-based sauce that is essentially the ideal tomato soup, but taken to the max with spiced flavor and with a splash of cream tossed in for good measure. And to keep the cheesy poutine vibe going, I topped it all off with paneer cheese crumbles. The result was the ultimate Indian-fusion comfort food, the crispy french fries tasted fantastic covered with the thick and tangy tikka masala, and the creamy and soft paneer cheese bits just rounded out the whole flavor-texture situation. Honestly, this was the best appetizer I've made in years. So much flavor, relatively easy to put together, and aside from the cream in the tikka masala sauce, it's pretty healthy.

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

The folks at McCormick were kind enough to put together a little giveaway, too! To enter, share your own unique flavor story by commenting on this post using the hashtag #flavorstory and be entered for a chance to win a McCormick Anniversary Edition Product. The giveaway ends May 9th and the gift package includes exclusive McCormick spice products, a McCormick recipe book, and a branded canvas tote – all valued at $50.  For every story shared on any of McCormick’s brand websites or social channels, McCormick will donate $1, up to $1.25 million, to United Way to help feed those in need. So keep those entries coming, folks!

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

Disclaimer: I was compensated by McCormick for this post, but all opinions & recipes are my own, per usual!

Tikka Masala Sauce


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch long piece ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Oven Baked Curry Fries


2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick french-fry strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon McCormick garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
1/2 cup paneer cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

First, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter with the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, and red curry powder and toast for 4 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the tomatoes, water, and salt and allow to simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Remve the mixture from heat, puree it in a blender or food processor, and pour it back into the pot. Stir in the cream until incorporated and then cover and keep warm until serving time.

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

To prepare the fries, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss all of the ingredients except the paneer together and spread them out in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden around the edges and crispy. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then transfer them to the serving plate. Cover them with the tikka masala sauce and top with the fresh cilantro and paneer cheese. Serve immediately.




Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

Oven Baked Curry Fries | Adventures in Cooking

41 comments:

  1. going to israel and tasting all the spices in the shuk really opened my eyes to a #flavorstory. i brought back so many unique blends that i try to experiment with. yum!

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    1. I can only imagine what a bundle of deliciousness you must have brought back with you! My friend recently went to Israel on his birthright trip and he couldn't stop talking about how amazing all the food was. It's definitely on my foodie travel list!

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  2. I love going to different culture spice stores in Boston and finding a new spice I have never tried! Makes cooking more fun and exciting! #flavorstory

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  3. This sounds wonderful! I am absolutely pinning this right away because Indian food is one of my favorites! :)

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    1. Oh awesome!! So glad you're enjoying this, Indian food is once of my favorites, too :)

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  4. I'm always looking for a fun way to spice up my meals! This looks great!

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  5. I actually grew up on McCormick spices. Most of my holidays were spent in my great grandmas' kitchen, making teeth-shattering peanut brittles, lard-laden pies, and wonderfully spicy cookies. Even at her oldest, 103 years, I remember my grandma using McCormick salt; shaking enough salt on her vegetables to soak up the seven seas.

    I now use them on a daily basis. Their pretty vintage bottles line my shelves, and their flavors take every new dish to the next level. Collecting them is almost a sick and spicy obsession, what with their huge variety. I love being introduced to the new flavors in such a high-quality style.

    The first time I tasted Garam Masala was when I mistook it for cinnamon among my many, many spice bottles, and ended up making Maple Syrup Masala Oatmeal. A big mistake, but a delicious one. As for this sauce, I could definitely see myself making it over and over again, to use on not just fries but all my favorite Indian foods. (Which just happens to be, like, all of them.)

    #flavorstory

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    1. I feel the same way about them, my mom always used them even thought the McCormick gourmet bottles are just gorgeous, I still love the old-fashioned red and white tin black pepper containers the most. It's really nice that they still have a throwback to their old spice containers :) And the quality of their spices just can't be beat.

      Your garam masala mistake sounds like a delicious one, indeed!! That is probably my favorite spice blend of theirs, I discovered it in high school and just started putting it in everything, sweet and savory. It's amazing how versatile it is and how well it works with so many different kinds of dishes!

      Thank you for sharing your story, Meghan, I really loved reading through it and hearing you talk about your grandma and her cooking. I hope to still be cooking in the kitchen at 103, too :)

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  6. Its perfect for my diet and thanks for giving us an idea. God Bless! private chef in austin

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    1. You are so very welcome! I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  7. you made me American raised Indian heart swoon! And one of my guilty pleasures is definitely french fries :) x

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    1. Hahaha, so very happy to hear it, Supal!! I hope you love these little guys :)

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  8. Wow this looks amazing. Baked fries are one of my biggest weaknesses, so doctored with a masala sauce? You had me at hello... :)

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    1. Haha, hurray!! Baked fries really are amazing, and to me they taste just as good as fried fries as long as you give them enough salt :)

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  9. The sauce in this recipe sounds delish. I could see myself using it on rice or another grain. I've never baked french fries, though I'm not sure why. I bake baby potatoes with herbs and spices all the time. I put herbs and spices on everything I cook to pump up the taste without the use of a lot of fat. #flavorstory

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    1. Thank you so much Savannagal! Roasted baby potatoes are incredible, I love the colored fingerling varieties, too. Especially with some rosemary, salt, and olive oil :)

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  10. This recipe sound scrumptious. I love making French fries. I use spices and herbs all the time in my cooking and baking. I love how all the beautiful flavors and smells flow along to create a fabulous dish. #flavorstory

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    1. Awww thank you so much! Herbs and spices really do add a mountain of flavor to any dish. I couldn't cook without them!

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  11. This looks so delicious and spicy. I can even smell the spiciness just looking at those pictures.

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  12. Wow! I love Indian spices and this just sounds incredible. Thank you for sharing!

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  13. Looks amazing! Is there any non-dairy product that you think would adequately substitute for the cream?

    My most memorable spice-experience was with a simple omelette. My parents had just bought a whole drawer of new spices, and we didn't have anything I wanted to put in an omelette, so I made a plain one with salt, pepper, and rosemary. When I bit into it, the rosemary was fresh and strong and perfect - and that's when I realized it really does pay to replace your spices frequently. #flavorstory

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  14. I love that you share your sources of inspiration! It makes the creative thought process seem more approachable to strict-recipe following types like me :) When I go home, I eat AT LEAST one pound of cheese curds. There's a couple of dairies in Maine that make them, but I just can't go there. Also, we fry them (!!!) in Wisconsin. Best bar snack in existence.

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  15. This sounds awesome! I love tikka masala sauce

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  16. one of the other commenters mentioned using masala accidently in oatmeal and since i have been thinking of trying it in granola i'm going to go for it.

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  17. Hi Eva, looks like a pretty flavor complex dish. Looks wonderful!

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  18. Your photos are just so gorgeous! I can't wait to make this, too! Well done!

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  19. I love oven baked fries, it's one of my weaknesses! I'm always on the lookout for wonderful spices to add and dipping sauces.

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  20. I make oven baked fries all the time, they're so delicious and this mix of spices would be so lovely on a cold winters day. Stunning photography, per usual too!

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  21. Those fries look to die for! and the pictures are very beautiful, thanks a lot for sharing the recipe

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  22. Those look wonderful! I love a good spiced fry. Stunning photography by the way!

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  23. I am a huge fan of using a cinnamon + crushed chili pepper flakes combo in chilis! So warm and nourishing, with a hint of spice. #flavorstory #YUM

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  26. This is the best thing I've ever seen... making it! Thanks!

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  27. My #flavorstory: I love to experiment with new spices and my current interest is in Indian. I started with plain old salt and pepper and now have a huge spice pantry that's sorta overflowing.

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  28. On my first official date with my (now) husband, he took me to an Indian restaurant in a small town in upstate NY. Having eaten only authentic Indian while living in England during high school, I was skeptical. He ordered his favorites and we dug in -- boy did he prove me wrong. It was the best meal I have ever had, and I remember that night so fondly (10 years later). #flavorstory

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    1. Dbyrne1[at]gmail[dot]com

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