... fierce food at home

header photo



Garam Masala translates to, literally, “hot spice blend” but not hot in the spicy sense, rather it “heats the body” in an ayurvedic sense with warm, healing spices. This blend skips the cheap fillers and focuses on the good stuff, a premium blend of cardamom, white and black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, coriander, and rosebud. The fragrance… pure Zen. SALT FREE. Traditionally added at the end of the cooking process to avoid burning or becoming bitter. It is the essential Indian spice and one you’ll be making up excuses to cook with.

Essential spice in nearly all Indian dishes from stews to grains to vegetables.

Sprinkle on simple roasted vegetables like winter squashes or sweet potatoes. The perfect seasoning for butternut squash soup.

Stir into rice or lentils with a little butter or oil for a special treat.

Use Zen® to spice up your next batch of gingerbread cookies or cake.


Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
~Serves 4-6~

½ cup plain yogurt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1" piece fresh ginger & 3 garlic cloves, grated
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork
2 TBSP butter/ 2 tsp olive oil, plus more for grilling
1 large onion, diced
2" piece fresh ginger & 6 garlic cloves, grated
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced
6-8 roma tomatoes, diced
1TBSP Spicegrrrl® Zen
1 tsp ea: paprika, cayenne, salt
2TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP honey
1 cup coconut milk (or heavy cream, if your diet permits)
For serving: chopped fresh cilantro and rice, naan, or bread

1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl and toss chicken to coat completely. Refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight. Bring back to room temperature before grilling.
2. Melt butter and olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Sauté onion 7-10 minutes until soft. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
3. Stir in paprika, cayenne, salt and ZEN. Add tomato paste, honey, and coconut milk and bring to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes or so.
4. Meanwhile, remove chicken pieces from marinade, wipe off excess, and place on hot, oiled grill (or under broiler) and cook until well browned, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes or so, and then cut into bite size pieces. Nestle chicken into sauce and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice or with bread.

~makes one very large cake~

1 cup oatmeal or milk stout or your favorite dark but not bitter or hoppy beer 1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (alt. 2 tsp dry ground ginger)
2 tsp ZEN®
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (muscovado or turbinado)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft
3 lg eggs
Serve: confectioners’ sugar, unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour 10-12 cup Bundt or tube pan, or 13 x 9 baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, bring stout and molasses nearly to boil, remove from heat, and whisk in baking soda. Cool.
In a large bowl, sift flour with baking powder, salt, ginger, and ZEN®. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar; blend in eggs, then beer-molasses mixture. Gradually fold in flour mixture until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes, until toothpick comes out with slightly moist crumbs.
Cool and serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar alongside a dollop of whipped cream.
Optional: Compote of winter fruits cooked down with a splash of balsamic is a lovely addition to this moist and festive cake.