Hariyali Indian Mac And Cheese

5 from 1 vote

Hariyali mac and cheese is a creamy, herby dish with a kick! This easy, no-bake fusion Indian macaroni and cheese dish is a delicious vegetarian meal.

Hariyali Indian mac and cheese on a plate.

Hariyali Mac and Cheese, is an Indian fusion of the classic mac and cheese with the vibrant green flavors of traditional Indian herbs and spices. 

I’m a big fan of Indian fusion food and after testing and tweaking I think this is the right balance of heat, greens, and flavor for an Indian style macaroni and cheese.

My Tandoori Masala Mac and Cheese is pretty popular so I thought it was time to do a new version.  Chana masala pasta is another Indian fusion pasta dish to try.

In Indian cuisine, “hariyali” refers to a vibrant green color, often associated with dishes that incorporate a variety of fresh green herbs and leafy greens. The term “hariyali” is derived from the Hindi word “hari,” which means green. Dishes labeled as “hariyali” typically feature ingredients like cilantro, mint, spinach, and other green herbs, giving them a distinctive green hue.

Ingredients

Macaroni ingredients on marble top.

Pasta: Elbow macaroni 

Cheese Sauce

  1. Butter: Adds richness and flavor.
  2. All-Purpose Flour: Used for thickening the sauce.
  3. Salt: Enhances overall flavor.
  4. Garlic Powder: Adds a subtle garlic flavor.
  5. Red Chili Powder: Provides a hint of spice (optional).
  6. Onion Powder: Contributes to the savory profile.
  7. Milk: Creates the creamy base for the sauce.
  8. Sour Cream: Adds tanginess and creaminess.
  9. Sharp Cheddar Cheese: The star ingredient, giving that classic cheesy taste. avoid using cheese that is already shredded.  Use a block of sharp cheddar and grate it yourself.  This is because cheese that is already shredded has added ingredients to prevent clumping and that can at times change the texture of the sauce.
Hariyali paste ingredients.

Hariyali Paste

Here’s a brief overview of the ingredients for a Hariyali paste for Hariyali Mac and Cheese:

  1. Cilantro: Provides a fresh and vibrant flavor.
  2. Basil: Adds aromatic and herbal notes.
  3. Shredded Ginger: Introduces a warm and spicy element.
  4. Lemon Juice: Adds citrusy brightness.
  5. Salt: Enhances overall flavor.
  6. Sugar: Balances flavors and adds a touch of sweetness.
  7. Cashews: Contributes to creaminess and richness.
  8. Water: Helps achieve the desired paste consistency.
  9. Cumin Powder: Infuses a warm, earthy flavor.

Blend these ingredients into a paste to create a Hariyali base for your unique twist on mac and cheese, combining the richness of the classic dish with the vibrant flavors of Hariyali. 

Preparation

Prepare elbow macaroni by following the instructions on the package. Add ¼ tsp of salt in the boiling water for the noodles.

Once cooked, drain the macaroni and set it aside.

Boiled elbow pasta for macaroni and cheese.

Prepare Herbs: Wash and clean the cilantro and basil thoroughly. Remove any tough stems.

Blend Ingredients: In a blender, combine blanched cilantro and basil leaves, shredded ginger, lemon juice, salt, sugar, cashews, water, and cumin powder. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure even blending.

Hariyali paste ingredients in a food processor.
Add ingredients to a food processor or blender jar. Tender stalks of cilantro ok to add.
Hariyali paste in a bowl.
Blend to form a smooth paste. Set aside.

Make Hariyali Mac and Cheese

Melt Butter:In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Incorporate Flour Mixture: Add the flour mixture to the melted butter and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute until the mixture slightly browns.

Flour added to melted butter in a pan.
On medium heat, melt butter in a non-stick pan and add flour.
Mix and cook for one minute.

Integrate Milk:Pour in 1 cup of milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth.

Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt:Include sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Cook Until Thickened:On medium-high heat, cook until the mixture thickens slightly (approximately 3 minutes). Avoid boiling.

Adjust Heat and Add Cheese :Once thickened (sticks to the back of the spatula), reduce heat to low. Add cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.

Milk added to pan.
Add milk and sour cream and mix well.
Shredded cheese added to pan.
Add freshly grated cheese to pan and mix to combine.

Add pasta: Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce in the pot, stirring until the sauce is thoroughly incorporated.

Finally: Mix in the hariyali paste. Taste and adjust for salt and spice.

Pasta added and mixed with cheese.
Add pasta and mix.
Add hariyali paste and mix. Taste and adjust for your salt preference.
Add hariyali paste and mix. Taste and adjust for your salt preference.

Serve warm! It will thicken a little as it cools. If you’d like to make it a little saucier add 2-3 tbsp of milk at a time on low heat while mixing.

Hariyali mac and cheese in a pan.

Optionally, Top With Toasted Breadcrumbs

I used these seasoned breadcrumbs. In about a tablespoon of olive oil I put 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder and mixed and heated on medium heat.

Then, I added a cup of breadcrumbs and mixed and toasted until browned.

Breadcrumbs in a bowl.
Optionally, toast seasoned breadcrumbs for a topping.
Olive oil with red chili powder.
Since the breadcrumbs I used are already seasoned I only added a little red chili powder for a kick to olive oil.
Toasted breadcrumbs in a pan.
Mix and toast on medium heat until browned.

Sprinkle on warm mac and cheese and serve!

Herby, spiced macaroni and cheese with toasted breadcrumbs on top.

Hariyali Indian mac and cheese on a plate.

Hariyali Indian Mac And Cheese

Shilpa Joshi
Hariyali mac and cheese is a creamy, herby dish with a kick! This easy, no-bake fusion Indian macaroni and cheese dish is a delicious vegetarian meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine global cuisines, indian fusion
Servings 6 servings
Calories 376 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pot to boil macaroni
  • 1 pan to make macaroni
  • 1 Blender to make hariyali paste. I used a Nutribullet.

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz macaroni elbows
  • tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • cup milk I used whole milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3 cups cheddar shredded, 8 ounce block of cheddar

Hariyali paste

  • ½ cup cilantro packed, washed – 25g
  • 1 cup basil packed, washed – 40g
  • 1 tbsp ginger shredded, 8g
  • 2 green chilies 20g
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup cashews 36g
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Instructions
 

  • Prepare elbow macaroni by following the instructions on the package. Add ¼ tsp of salt in the boiling water for the noodles. Once cooked, drain the macaroni and set it aside.

Make Hariyali Paste

  • Prepare Herbs:Wash and clean the cilantro and basil thoroughly. Remove any tough stems.
  • Blend Ingredients: In a blender, combine blanched cilantro and basil leaves, shredded ginger, lemon juice, salt, sugar, cashews, water, and cumin powder. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure even blending.

Make Hariyali Mac and Cheese

  • Melt Butter:In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Incorporate Flour Mixture:Add the flour mixture to the melted butter and whisk to combine.
  • Browning Stage:Cook for 1 minute until the mixture slightly browns.
  • Integrate Milk:Pour in 1 cup of milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth.
    Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt:Include sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Cook Until Thickened:On medium-high heat, cook until the mixture thickens slightly (approximately 3 minutes). Avoid boiling.
  • Adjust Heat and Add Cheese :Once thickened (sticks to the back of the spatula), reduce heat to low. Add cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
  • Add pasta: Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce in the pot, stirring until the sauce is thoroughly incorporated.
  • Finally: Mix in the hariyali paste. Taste and adjust for salt and spice.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 17gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 831mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1190IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 497mgIron: 1mg
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Sincerely,
Shilpa

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