Spices and Seasons – Ginger-Garlic Paste


So, summer has that one firm and poised toe out
of the door, although with these temperatures you would not guess it. We just enjoyed a weekend with lovely blue skies and gentle cooling rain in the evenings to keep the garden well watered.

In fact, it is a lovely time of the year to celebrate cooling salads and dips. Most people growing tomatoes are quite happy this year, including me. I even re-visited and made this lovely bruised tomato salad again and we have been
enjoying other yogurt based salads such as this cucumber raita, which the budding chef in my household has been dishing out for us.

Now, in the spice department I shall start your journey on a spice combination. This is where the fun with spices and flavors really begins and the possibilities are endless.

The combination of ginger and garlic, these spices are often used together in various proportions. However, to satisfy my fresh obsession and keep things simple I usually blend them in equal proportions and keep them handy. Sure you can buy them individually usually in most well stocked stores, but why buy jarred when you can do it yourself in less that 15 minutes.

I have already told you about ginger and garlic, so I shall save you from more detail on the spices and get straight down to business, the business of making a basic spice paste that is.

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Makes 1/3 cup

Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen


1 large ( about ¼ pound) piece of fresh ginger

1 head of garlic (about 12 pods) of garlic, peeled

Method of Preparation

1. Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices

2. Place in a blender or food processor and add in the garlic. Pulse a few times to get the blades moving.

3. Blend into a smooth paste and store in a glass jar, or alternately place in small freezer cubes and freeze. Please note this is a convenient way to keep them handy for recipes.

Yes, the question is what do I use this for? There is of course the Salmon and Red Onion Kebab recipe that I am going to share with you.
If you want more recipes, check out the links at the bottom of this post. We all know that onions are in season, we have two wonderful recipes here showcasing this wonderful creation at the small bites throughdown.

I have featured rosemary here, the stalks of this hardy herb makes wonderfully fragrant kebab skewers. Now, rosemary is a strong tasting
herb and if you do not like the smell, feel free to skip the herb, use bamboo skewers and follow the rest of the recipe.


Salmon and Red Onion Kebabs on Rosemary Skewers

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour for marinating

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4


For the skewers

12 large stalks of rosemary

For the kebab marinade

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

½ cup yogurt

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (see above)

2 green chilies

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Salt to taste

For the kebabs

11/2 pounds of wild caught salmon, cut into 11/2 inch cubes

2 medium sized red onions

Oil for brushing and grilling (I use olive oil)

To garnish

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Cherry Tomatoes

Method of Preparation

1. Trim the rosemary stalks of the leaves, keeping a brush like top. Use the leaves as needed for this recipe and reserve the rest. Rosemary also freezes well.

2. Place the rosemary, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, greenchilies, maple syrup and the salt in a blender and blend into a smooth paste.

3. Place in a mixing bowl and add in the salmon cubes and marinate for an hour at room temperatures up to 70 degrees or place in the
refrigerator for 2 hours.

4. Remove the tops off the onions, cut into eights and separate the layers.

5. To assemble the kebabs, skewer the salmon and the onion in alternate layers.

6. Brush the kebabs with oil grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

7. Serve garnished with cilantro and cherry tomatoes.

Rinku Bhattacharya is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.

Her cookbook the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, is scheduled to be published in November 2012. Rinku can be found on facebook, twitter and pinterest.




About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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