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Masala Cream Cheese

a bunch of food sitting on a table

Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor 

Bagel and cream cheese have been not just a New York but an American staple breakfast for decades. When I first began to visit New York in the nineteen nineties, the amount of cream cheese that delis would smoosh in-between a toasted bagel would be almost 2 inches high. It would melt slightly, and I would lick every morsel of it off my fingers in utter delight. Before I embraced the more nuanced and funky aged cheeses like gruyere or even Parmesan and given that aged cheeses are practically non-existent in India, cream cheese became an easy favorite. Over the years, I’ve seen lots of flavored cream cheeses pop up in delis here in Texas and in New York, but most leave me longing for more flavor. So, I began to play around with infusing different masalas in cream cheese. The herb masala is one my kids adopted early on, they ate it with just crackers or toast or we put it in a sandwich. The tomato masala one is more of an adult version, especially with the addition of the hot chiles. While I seldom recommend consuming dried turmeric uncooked, in this case, the high fat content in the cream cheese balances the pungent flavors of ginger and turmeric. Here is a recipe for first creating a spreadable slightly fluffy seasoned cream cheese and next, you can choose three options of masalas to prepare.

Read More  |  Recipe: India1948