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What I got from India and OneLifeToEat’s first Giveaway

January 23, 2011
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Hello folks! After over a week of trying to recover from my trip to India, I have finally caught my breath to get on with regular business. I use the word ‘recover’ because of many reasons. Firstly, and obviously, it takes time to recover from the over 24 hour journey (with stopovers and delays) from Mumbai, not to mention the jetlag that comes with traveling across multiple timezones. One also needs some time to recover from the gluttonous eating that people like me indulge in when they visit home. I’m not exaggerating here folks. I’m on a strict high-fiber, purely veggie diet for at least a few weeks to ease my body out of the sinfully delicious food I had the pure pleasure and fortune of treating myself with πŸ˜€

Apart from eating, I also did some amazing shopping in Mumbai and in Delhi. I wasn’t able to take pictures of everything I bought, but here’s a sample of some fabrics I picked up for my home. All of them are from an amazing store I have been in love with for years, called FabIndia.

Home fabrics from Fabindia

Aren’t they pretty? Despite the jetlag, I eagerly put up all the new table runners, cushion covers and curtains I bought all over my home. It feels so wonderful to make my home look a little more ‘Indian’ πŸ™‚ I also picked up some pretty leather slippers, lots of cotton tunics from my favorite Indo-western clothing store W, and lots of other trinkets for the home and my jewelery box.

In all my greedy, irresponsible shoveling-of-food-in-the-mouth and indulgent shopping, I never, for a moment forgot you. I got an amazing stash of home made spices and spice mixes with me that my mother uses pretty regularly and I have tried myself as well. I’m a big lover of spice mixes once in a while when I want to make something special and I scouted around for good spice mixes when I was home. Below are 5 I brought along. And the best part is – I’m giving it all away!

The Giveaway stash

TWO very very lucky winners in the US will get everything you see in the picture above. The stash includes:

1. Home-made Garam Masala – This is the best part of my spice stash – the star of Indian cooking. Made using authentic Indian spices such as cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon and peppercorn, Garam Masala has many uses in Indian cooking. Search for Garam Masala on my blog and you’ll get a list of recipes you can use it in. Manufactured by Royal spices in Mumbai.

2. Ready-made curry paste (Red Chilli Garlic & Jeera (cumin) paste) – My mother uses this paste to whip up quick curries and marinades when she’s pressed for time. It is pre-packaged and manufactured by Aatash foods in India and is purely vegetarian. You can read more about the paste and how to use it here.

3. Home made Milk Masala (the 2 small packets above) – This is a widely used spice mix in India and is added to warm milk to form a fragrant, rich drink. Made using almonds, cashews and cardamom, this makes the ideal, healthful drink for our cold Midwestern winters. Milk masala can also be used in ice creams and rice puddings.

The following 2 spice mixes, although made for non-vegetarian dishes, can also be used to make vegetarian dishes as the spice mixes are 100% vegetarian.

4. Goan Fish Curry Masala – This masala can be used to make an authentic Goan Fish curry. Goan food is a unique Indian cuisine that involves the usage of coconut and tamarind among other local ingredients. Most of their dishes are made using seafood and this masala will give you the authentic Goan fish curry flavor. Manufactured by Goana foods.

5. Xacuti Curry Masala – I wrote about this poultry based Goan curry in my Iron Chef post. This is a rich Goan curry made on special occasions. Also manufactured by Goana foods.

So here’s how you can win!

  • A comment on this post qualifies you to enter but I’d also love any suggestions you may have for my blog. Are there any specific Indian recipes you’ve been looking for and can’t find on the web? Do you want me to share more info on a particular Indian ingredient? Shout it out!
  • Comments will close on Sunday Jan 30th at 10 AM Central US time.
  • I will randomly choose two winners from those leaving comments and announce them on Monday Jan 31st
  • The giveaway is only open to US residents. The winners will have a week to send me a US address so that I can mail out the spices.

Legal Disclaimer: While all the spices do not contain egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat or dairy products, they may have been prepared in a kitchen where these products are used. Please do not participate in this giveaway if you may be allergic to any of these ingredients.

FTC Disclosure: I received no feesΒ for hosting this giveaway. I will provide the winner with the prize free of charge. I do not endorse the companies mentioned above.

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14 Comments
  1. January 23, 2011 11:48 pm

    Hi Sabera,

    You already know that you r my newest bloggofavorite & this giveaway is so awesome! πŸ™‚ I would LOVE to win! πŸ˜€

    Regarding any suggestions or requests from your blog, i would love to learn more of Indian desserts!! I am gonna settle down in NY next month and i am gonna start living with my in-laws for the first time since my one year of marriage! They LOVE desserts and i would love to please their taste buds every single time! πŸ˜‰ SO you know how badly i wanna learn & cook! πŸ˜‰ ( i can try out these giveaway masala’s too for my regular dishes ) πŸ˜‰

    Thank you so much for giving me the chance to learn AND also to win!

  2. Joanna permalink
    January 24, 2011 1:35 am

    I have just discovered your blog and am so excited to spend more time checking it out! I love India and Indian food and want to learn more recipes and cooking techniques. I spent a semester studying in India, spent most of my time in Tamil Nadu but also traveled throughout the country. Last year I visited Mumbai with my husband and we ate, and ate, and ate. I would LOVE to cook with your spices! And your textiles are beautiful!

  3. Nive permalink
    January 24, 2011 10:42 am

    Awesome giveaway, thanks!!! I’ve shopped in FabIndia via online before and loved the site….

  4. Jordan P permalink
    January 24, 2011 12:00 pm

    I have to admit, I’m a new reader but I love your blog. the recipes always look delish, and I especially thought the post on the jugu cake was great. I think that a cool post would be something like, how to plan the perfect indian themed dinner party. My friends and I do theme dinner parties each month and, despite the fact that none of us know how to cook a LICK of indian food, I suggested that as the theme for march.

    Help?!

  5. Fatema K permalink
    January 24, 2011 3:41 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog while googling kari-chawal and man did I hit the jackpot! I love that you have the recipes for food that I grew up eating but never bothered to learn to cook. I did have a suggestion though; I couldn’t find a summarized content section on the blog? (could be because I’m a newbie and haven’t figured it out as yet) I think it’s sorted by category right now (appetizers, entrees etc) but it would be easier to browse through the recipes when you aren’t looking for anything specific.

    PS: I’d love to get my hands on the Goana masalas! πŸ™‚

  6. Mariana permalink
    January 25, 2011 6:11 pm

    What about the classic chicken tikka masala?

  7. January 26, 2011 11:49 am

    Love the giveaway! How did my eyes miss it? Would love to get my hands on any of these πŸ™‚

  8. reshma talreja permalink
    January 26, 2011 11:51 am

    wow…this is really amazing…love your blog…

  9. January 26, 2011 11:53 am

    Wow, what an amazing giveaway! I’m new to your blog, so I have no suggestions for you πŸ™‚ but will be spending many hours looking through your recipes.

    Welcome back!

  10. January 26, 2011 12:05 pm

    Welcome back Sabera! I’m convinced that the best part of returning from a trip is unwrapping your presents at home! The fabrics are so lovely! And I would love to try the fish curry. We’ve been trying to eat more fish and this looks like the perfect way to do so! πŸ™‚

  11. Katie permalink
    January 27, 2011 8:36 am

    Katie checking in to enter the giveaway. πŸ™‚

  12. January 27, 2011 4:20 pm

    I’d love a great tutorial on how to make rice like you get at Indian restaurants! It’s long and yellow and nice and fluffy!

  13. Gabrielle Libby permalink
    January 28, 2011 10:07 am

    Looks like you had an awesome trip. I am jealous πŸ™‚ I am new to your blog and haven’t had a chance to look through the recipes. I would love a good Dal Shorba soup recipe if there isn’t one.

  14. Jhurani permalink
    January 28, 2011 10:08 am

    hope u had a good time in Mumbai…u r doing an amazing job…

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