This recipe idea came from a customer who was inspired by Chef Preeti Mistry's genius Tikka Masala Mac and Cheese. Our customer hacked the recipe with our Tikka Masala simmer sauce but I thought I'd try Preeti's method out with our new Cashew Butter Masala simmer sauce and was blown away.
The recipe below is decadent and perfect for a special occasion. I have also made a lighter version by just warming my Cashew Butter Masala simmer sauce and adding in the cheeses and it was also delicious. The lighter version is easily veganized with melty vegan cheeses like Violife or Daiya.
The lighter or more rich version of this mac and cheese recipe is great if you are short on time (like me with two nagging children that are always hungry:)) but if you do have the time, I highly recommend trying the original recipe from Preeti which you can find here and of course topping it with my Tomato Achaar or Guntur Sannam Hot Sauce.
Chef Preeti is a dear friend and someone that I admire greatly. Preeti founded the amazing Juhu Beach Club in Oakland where I had my first dosa waffle and wrote a cookbook of the same name that I treasure and highly recommend for its inventive recipes. Preeti is so talented and their name may ring a bell if you caught them on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown.
Butter Masala Mac and Cheese adapted from Chef Preeti Mistry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 jars Brooklyn Delhi Cashew Butter Masala simmer sauce or Tikka Masala simmer sauce
2 cups heavy cream (or combo of cream and milk - I've made this recipe with 2% milk and cream and it's delish!)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups gouda cheese, coarsely grated (plus more for sprinkling on top if you are going to broil it)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni, shells, or other small shape
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauce pan. Pour 2 jars of Cashew Butter Masala medium sauce pan under medium heat. Stir in cream (or milk and cream mixture). Let the mixture heat up until bubbles form around the edge, about 5 minutes, and then whisk in the sour cream, the cheddar cheese, and the gouda cheese until the cheeses melt and sauce is smooth. Season the sauce to taste, decrease the heat to very low, and keep the sauce warm.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot right away as you want it to absorb as much sauce as possible. Add the cheese sauce and stir well to combine.
You can serve it right away (at first it is very loose and creamy but it thickens the more it sits) or transfer the mixture to a broiler-safe baking dish. Heat your oven broiler. Top the pasta mixture with the additional grated gouda and broil 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns to your liking.
Optionally scatter with chopped chili peppers and fried curry leaves on top.
Serve immediately with Tomato Achaar or Guntur Sannam Hot Sauce for heat.