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Masala Mac 'n' Cheese

Updated: Sep 12

American comfort meets the vibrant spice trails of India!

The bustling streets of Mumbai were far from the serene landscapes of my hometown. As I strolled through the local markets, the myriad of spices enveloping the air painted a tapestry of India's rich culinary heritage. It was in a small eatery tucked away in a corner of this vibrant city where I first tasted a dish that blended Indian spices into a Western classic. The chef, an elderly man with a kind smile and years of experience, introduced me to what he playfully called his "Spicy Mac." Intrigued and inspired, I decided to recreate and refine the dish when I returned home. The Masala Mac 'n' Cheese was born - a delightful amalgamation of the comfort of American mac 'n' cheese with the aromatic spices that once danced in the air of a Mumbai market. It's more than just a dish; it's a memory, an adventure, a bridge between two worlds.


Servings: 4-6


  • 16 oz elbow macaroni

  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped for garnish


  1. Pasta Preparation: Cook the elbow macaroni in salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.

  2. Masala Roux: In a large skillet or pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the garlic and ginger, sautéing until fragrant. Stir in the flour, cooking for a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth and free of lumps.

  3. Cheese Integration: Once the milk mixture starts to warm, add in the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.

  4. Infuse the Spices: Incorporate the garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Mix well, ensuring the spices are evenly distributed.

  5. Combining the Macaroni: Add the cooked macaroni to the skillet and stir until the pasta is well-coated with the masala cheese sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time.

  6. Garnish and Serve: Transfer the Masala Mac 'n' Cheese to serving dishes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander (cilantro), and serve immediately.

This Masala Mac 'n' Cheese is a tribute to the harmonious blend of creamy American tradition and the aromatic spices of India. Every bite offers a symphony of flavors that promise to delight and surprise your palate.

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