This cross-cultural Indian and Western dish brings together American and British influences with spices of the Orient to create a delectable side dish or main course.

Masala Mac 'n Cheese
Recipe type: Side Dish, Main, Luncheon
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus as needed
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 6 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/4 Cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup American cheese, shredded
  • 1 3/4 Cup sharp Cheddar, shredded, divided
  • black pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • 1/2 Cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 Cups elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 1/4 Cup breadcrumbs
  1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until almost browned. Add tomatoes, ginger paste, coriander, cumin seeds, salt, ground chiles and turmeric. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté 10 minutes. Remove from heat; reserve.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, heat milk to boil; remove from heat.
  3. In another heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; whisk in flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes (be careful not to brown mixture). Slowly add hot milk, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps.
  4. Add 1 cup each Cheddar and American cheeses; stir frequently until cheese is melted and sauce slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove sauce from heat; stir in sautéed onion-and-tomato mixture and cilantro. Place pasta in large mixing bowl; toss lightly with a touch of olive oil. Pour cheese sauce over pasta; mix thoroughly. Transfer to baking dish.
  6. Combine remaining Cheddar cheese with breadcrumbs; sprinkle atop macaroni.
  7. Bake macaroni and cheese at 400 degrees F until golden and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.


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