I don't know about you but I don't keep 100 different spice blends in my kitchen pantry. I mean, who does that, right?
Being a true lover of food from all over the world, sometimes I find myself needing a special spice mix that I don't have on hands and that's when I just love to grind it myself. My trustee spice grinder does the work great.
What Is Garam Masala
It's a mix of wonderful spices that usually come in powder form.
In Hindi garam means "hot" and masala means "spices mixture". I believe it's originated from South Asia and is widely use in Indian cuisines, in different types of curries, rices and lentil dishes.
Although it means hot spices mixture but it's not hot as in spicy but is more towards warming, which is great in increasing the body's metabolism.
Garam masala spice blend contains a stronger flavoured spices compared to curry powder spice blend, so a little goes a long way.
What Is It Made Of
The ratios and components of garam masala spice blend is of course different based on the place and personal/family preferences. But in general it's made of these spices.
What Does It Taste Like
Like I mentioned before, it's not a spicy spice blend. It has a wonderful fragrant smell, not pungent at all.
The blend lends a mild heat, floral sweetness touch to the meal.
How To Use Garam Masala
You can use it in many ways like in curries, veggies and legumes based recipes.
It's usually added towards the end of cooking process to preserve it's wonderful fragrant but you can also cook it together with your veggies or lentils, no problem at all.
Like any other ground spices, it burns easily so do take care when you it in your cooking.
How To Store
I keep mine in an airtight container in my spice drawer. Not exposed to the sun or humidity like if I were to keep it on a kitchen counter, for example. It keeps up to 6 months.
Garam masala looses its smell pretty fast so you're recommended to use it as soon as you can. Personally for me, I don't mind. Since I grind my own blend so I don't have much at one time anyways.
Recipes Using Garam Masala
- Chickpea curry with coconut milk and spinach
- Paratha flatbreads with chicken keema filling
- Asian baked chicken curry puff (similar to empanada)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 1 tbsp pepper corns
- 1 cinnamon stick , broken into small pieces
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- Place a pan on medium heat and dry roast all ingredients except for ground nutmeg and ginger, for a few minutes or until they release their fragrance.
- Now pour everything into a spice grinder jar and blend everything together into a fine texture. Keep in an airtight container.
Originally published on Nov 15, 2017. Updated with improved text, recipe and pictures on Feb 3, 2021.