I am very blessed to be surrounded by talented and delightful food bloggers. One of them is Reem Rizvi of Simply Reem. She is a terrific blogger, a great photographer and a dear friend. I am delighted and honored to be able to feature this super fun recipe by Reem. I hope you will try it and leave feedback for us.

Mac n Cheese – An Indian Touch!!

I want to start by saying a big thanks to Monica for giving me this opportunity of being on her site. It is truly an honor for me. Monica has taken Indian cuisine to new heights, making it more adaptable and workable for global kitchen and palate. Her recipes are exactly what we need in our busy lifestyle. Loaded with flavors and easy to make, they have changed the outlook what people had about Indian dishes. Monica has been a great friend and a true guide for me; I want to thank her for everything and believing in my work and me. Thanks Monica ….

Mac n Cheese is one dish that screams comfort. I have not met anyone who does not like it; it is just a part of you. Just like there are no defined rules and lines for comfort, there is no hard and fast rule for how people make their Mac n Cheese. I personally feel every recipe of this deliciousness has a little story attach to it, a little memory from your mama’s kitchen. It really does not matter what kind of pasta or cheese the recipe uses, every recipe is unique and personal.

Today I am sharing with you all the way my Mom made Mac n Cheese. This was one of the few dishes she learned quickly upon our demand. Food is the easiest way to blend culture and my mom knew it well, her kitchen was always a symphony of culture and cuisines and it was from that warm room in my home, I started my initial relationship with world that I had never seen in real life. This recipe is simple; she never used any high-end exotic cheeses or ingredients but she added an Indian flair to the dish with a little kiss of spices, making it even more delicious and comforting.

So next time you make Mac n Cheese, add a little Indian flair and I can assure you will love it.

Recipe and photo credit: Reem Rizvi

Ingredients –

Dried Macaroni (or pasta of your choice) – 1 cup

Salt & Pepper as per taste.

Butter – 2Tbsp.

Onion – ¼ cup, finely chopped.

Ginger – 1tsp, minced.

Garlic – 1tsp, minced.

Jalapeno – 1 minced (optional).

Cumin powder – ½ tsp.

Paprika – ½ tsp (or as per taste).

Garam Masala powder – ¼ tsp.

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp.

All purpose flour – 1 ½ Tbsp.

Milk – 1 ½ cup.

Cheddar Cheese – 2 cups (grated).

Bread slices – 2, crust removed.

Cilantro – 2Tbsp, chopped.

Method-

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a baking dish with little butter.

In a food processor, add the bread with cilantro and ½ Tablespoon of butter. Give it a quick pulse, till it starts to look like crumbs. Don’t over do it, little texture tastes good. Add ½ cup of cheese and mix everything well. Keep it aside.

Cook the macaroni according to the direction on the packet; keep it aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of butter on medium heat. Then add the chopped onions, stir and cook until the onions are just beginning to turn golden brown. Now add the ginger, garlic and jalapeno, cook for another minute. Keep stirring.

Add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and paprika, stir for 20-30 seconds to bring everything together.

Now add the flour, salt and pepper and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the warm milk and continue to stir as the milk mixture starts to thicken, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 ½ cup of cheese. Stir well till the cheese melts into the sauce. Set the cheese sauce aside.

Stir the drained macaroni into the cheese sauce and give it a nice mix. Pour everything in the greased baking dish, topped with bread and cheese mixture we prepared earlier. Bake in 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly on the top. Enjoy.

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