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Making everyone a Chef..One Shan Masala at a time!

Having attended the acclaimed College of Home Economics Lahore, one assumes that I would know recipes at my tips, and can mix up a dinner in mere hours! Well, sad but true, I need a week to plan a dinner, and at least two days to actually cook! In my earlier years of marriage, despite asking my mom for all her recipes, which all were based on apnea hasab sae concept, I soon searched around for an alternative!

Shan Masala is a house-hold name in almost all desi homes, and it doesn’t hurt that they play up the sentimental value of food in our culture through advertisements! Check out their video on this link to get teary-eyed if you are an over-seas desi.

Shan Masala was a God-sent, as I tried its Baryani Masala… one of the key items from this line, which I have at least two in my pantry all the time! For all my non-desi readers, Shan is a Pakistani Food company, expanding its profile both locally and internationally! So any Canadian can walk into Super Store and find these spices in the international food aisle.

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The Baryani Masala is basic, and works with my add-ons. I tend to use one box for a mild spiced baryani of one chicken, and maybe another half for a bit more spicer. Since my family eats less spice, this works for me. On the other hand, for dinner parties, I would add more than one and a half box! My add-ons are dried apricots and even sometimes a bit of tamarind! These tend to make my baryani more chatkhari or as you would say…mouth-smacking licking good ;).

Another favorite spice that I keep purchasing nowadays is the one for the Channa Masala, which is the Chickpea curry. This masala gives you the exact taste that your would get from the cholae served with halwa Puri  in Lahore for breakfast at Capri! No need to even add on anything! I tend to top it off with lots of sliced green chillies..and thats it! perfection easily done and quickly gone!

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Recently I went on a limb, and decided to make Shami Kebab with the Shan Masala, and I must say.. I was not disappointed! My husband actually liked the karara taste! Making Shami kebab of chicken can result in dry bland tasting patties. However, since I used a whole chicken, and used this Masala, the results were actually pretty good! One exception is, that I did NOT follow the instructions 100%! (well I usually don’t follow the recipe anyhow). But this time, the box wanted me to leave 2 glasses of water in the mix before making patties! nopes…didn’t follow that! I made it like how my mom made them, and substituted the spices for the box. Overall, not a bad experience.

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Lastly, I want to group together a few of my other favorites…like the Roast one, which makes a killer Raan Roast. Also the Bihari Kebab Masala is a must for quick cooking of chops, or any meat piece I may have lying around in need of quick cooking!

What are some of your favorite ones from this line? And what changes do you make it your own ;)?