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Spice Goddess — 7 Things To Know

Spice Goddess, Bal Arneson, prepping a dish

Spice Goddess, Bal Arneson, prepping a dish

Beginning in July, Cooking Channel will be rocking a brand-new Spice Girl.  Her name is Bal Arneson and she is our Spice Goddess…

Ever feel daunted when trying to craft with the perfect blend of spices for your dish? Wouldn’t it be cool to have a spice sherpa who has been there and can demystify the entire process? Beginning Saturday, July 10th, Bal Arneson will share how you can make dishes that are deeply flavorful and nuanced, using aromatic spices and seasonings.

7 Things To Know About Bal Arneson, the Spice Goddess:

Bal and mango friend

Bal and mango friend

    1) She grew up in a small village outside Punjab, India.

    2) Bal first learned to cook, over coals in a clay BBQ pit, when she was 7.

    3) Philosophy: No one should spend more than 25 minutes in the kitchen to make healthy wonderful Indian meals.

    4) First Hollywood crush:  Captain Kirk (William Shatner) when she was 15.

Captain James T. Kirk, contemplative...

Captain James T. Kirk, contemplative...

    5) Outside the kitchen, Bal likes hiking, camping and rock climbing with her family.
    6) Bal sells organic spices on her site; donating a portion of the proceeds to her village to fund educational programs for women and children.

generic_asparagus_s4x3_al

Ingredients
1 Tbsp garlic – finely chopped
1 Tbsp ginger – finely chopped
1 Tbsp coriander seeds – crush with your hands
1 Tbsp cumin powder
…1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup water
One 14 oz can of chickpeas-drain and rinse with cold water
Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Directions
In a skillet, add oil and heat on medium to high heat for few seconds until oil is hot.
Add garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin powder, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook on medium to high heat for 15 seconds.
Add tomatoes and water and cook for 3 minutes. Stir regularly.
Add chickpeas and cook for 1 minute.
Serve on steamed asparagus. Enjoy!!

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    Bal, as someone who grew up around Indian inspired and spiced food dishes in Trinidad in the West Indies where there is a very large population of Diaspora Indians, descendents from British colonial times – I am head over heels in love with the wonderful, delicious and inspiring recipes, ingredients and techniques that you bring into my home with your television shows. I am a HUGE curry/garam masala fan and I have taken it upon myself to stock up my pantry with many of the wonderful and intrigueing spices that you use in your own culinary adventures. I have even taken up your practise of NOT peeling my fresh ginger, and instead giving it a fine chopping – skin and all – after a good washing. Thank you Bal for expanding my own culinary knowledge, and as always I look forward to watching you work your magic every week day on my TV at 10:00am East Coast time. You are just simply THE GREATEST!

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