Photo by for Life of Spice

Love spices but are wondering what to do with them? Ever wonder if you should buy spices whole or ground? Do spices offer only taste or are they beneficial in other ways?

Check out my article on AARP.ORG exploring spices. 

There are some wonderful recipes included with the piece, including - 

Monica's Fish CurryIndian Style Chili, Saffron Mussel Stew, Beet Salad with yogurt dressing and Eggplant with a honey marinade. 

Indian-Style Chili in Bread Bowls

From Modern Spice by Monica Bhide.
Copyright 2009 by Monica Bhide. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Serves: 4

Cook Time: 50 minutes


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cinnamon stick

1 medium red onion, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (page XX)

1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, diced

1 ¼ lb. ground beef

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8th teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 ½ cups water

Table salt to taste

4 (1 lb each) round sourdough bread loaf (at least 5 inches across)


Finely chopped onion and green chilies for garnish


1.     In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the cinnamon stick. When the stick begins to sizzle, add the onions and ginger -garlic paste. Sauté, stirring, until the onions are golden brown, about 7–8 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water if the onions start to stick to the pan.

2.     Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the oil begins to leave the sides of the mixture. 

3.     Add the beef and sauté for about 10 –12 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula.

4.     Add the dry spices. Mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes.

5.     Add the kidney beans and 1 ½ cups of water. Cover and cook for another 12-15 minutes or until the beef is cooked through.

6.     While the beef is cooking, prepare the bread bowls

7..   Cut 1/2 inch off the top of each loaf. Gently scoop out the bread from inside the loaf, using care to leave a generous ¾ inch shell intact.  Once the beef is cooked, spoon a cupful into each bowl, garnish with the onion and chilies and serve immediately. 

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