This post is also available in: Hindi
What’s life without a little spice…. or should we say without the ‘right’ kind of spice. Garam masala, the popular north Indian spice mix has been used to add the right taste to just about any curry or dish. Translating to ‘warm spice’, the mix is called so because it adds a warmth to the body i.e. elevate the body temperature.
In garam masala, the right blend of these spices is very important. Even if any one spice is added in excess, it may end up giving an overpowering taste to the mix which may not be great in the end for the dish it is used in. In this recipe, I have given a tried and tested balanced mix for regular garam masala.
- 2 tbsp Cloves
- 3 tbsp Cumin Seeds
- 12 Green Cardamom
- 2 tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 tbsp Black Cardamom
- 10 Bay Leaf
- 2 tbsp Mace
- 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds (optional)
- 1 tbsp Caraway Seeds
- 1 Whole Nutmeg
- 10 Cinnamon Sticks
Heat a nonstick pan on low flame. Add in all the spices.
Stir them continuously to avoid them burning. In about 2 minutes, a pleasant aroma of the spices will emanate.
Shut off the flame and let the spices stand in the hot pan
Stir them once in a while. Let them cool completely.
Take the thick hard spices first in a mixie jar. Pulse them a bit to break them up.
Add the rest of the spices.
Grind on low speed first for a couple of minutes.
Increase speed to maximum and grind to a powder.
Take out and sieve. The thicker pieces need to be ground again.
Store in a dry, airtight glass jar.
Always handle the masala with a dry spoon to avoid spoiling.
Garam masala ranges from regular to spicy depending on the dish you want to add it to and individual tastes. Though it adds zing and flavour to any dish, most people don’t use garam masala in daily curries because of the warmth it adds to the dish. But there are some dishes like aaloo matar or matar paneer which definately taste a lot better when garam masala is added to the dish. So be selective in the use of garam masala.
In ancient times, garam masala would be made at home. If the ground masala is unavailable the ‘khada masala’ or whole spices would be used. But otherwise, it would be an afternoon job of buying whole spices and then mixing them in the right proportion to make garam masala at home. These days the garam masala mix is easily available at a store near you. They are even customized to specific dishes like Chole masala, pav bhaji masala and rajma masal. Masalas are also specialized for non-vegetarian dishes like biryani and butter chicken and mutton. Most people tend to buy these as it saves a lot of time.
But when making everyday subzi at home, a version of regular garam masala keeps the food healthy and tasty.
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