The word ‘Garam Masala’ suddenly evokes a sense of aromatic and zesty flavors. This ubiquitous spice is the heart of authentic Indian food. It is an inimitable blend of different ground spices that are roasted to produce more flavors. Usually, garam masala is added at the final stage of cooking, just like a fresh herb. Let’s unveil some more facts about this magical spice:
What is Garam Masala?
The term Garam Masala means the blend of warm spices. The coining of these two words is perfect as the items that are used in preparing this recipe keeps the body warm. Not only this, it also has amazing digestive and medicinal properties. Different regions use different versions of this popular spice. Every household uses its own way of making garam masala.
In Northwest India, the garam masala recipe usually comprises nutmeg, cassia, mace, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Black pepper is also added if the powder is sprinkled directly to the dish. The blend is prepared by mixing and grinding all the spices in a grinder, but roasting is not a part of this.
Some regions crush the spices with coconut milk, water or vinegar to make a smooth paste. While some grind the spices with garlic, onion and even nuts. At times, this spice is roasted before it is used in the dish as this releases wonderful flavors and aromas of the added blended spices.
The unique Indian spice is also available as a mixture in stores, but most of the manufacturers use cheap spices like ground ginger, sesame seeds, fennel, and the like. Garam masala bought from a shop should be added the last step of cooking, so as to get the optimum flavor. Whereas, homemade masala can be added at the starting step in order to achieve a pungent and fragrant flavor. The method and proportion of spices may differ from recipe to recipe.
Once you get a feel for the amazing taste it adds to your cooking, trial and modify your recipe to fit your taste needs.
How to Make Garam Masala?
There is no single formula of making this flavorful spice as the spices differ according to personal preferences and regions. But there are some main ingredients that are used in most of the recipes like cardamom, cumin, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, black pepper, black peppercorns, and cinnamon.
Here is an Easy-to-make Garam Masala Recipe:
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cardamom seeds
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
To begin with, roast all the ingredients for 10 minutes gently in a heavy skillet on medium heat. Stir the spices at small intervals. When the added spices have turned into few darker shades and release a toasty and rich aroma, remove the skillet and let the ingredients cool for a few minutes. Now take a spice grinder and put freshly grated nutmeg in it and mix all the spices. Shake it well. Your garam masala is ready to add a heavenly taste to your dishes. Remember; always keep the masala in a metal container as plastic containers spoil the aroma.
The blend of spices used in different garam masala can proffer several beneficial properties like:
- Cumin provides iron and improves digestion. It also has cancer-fighting properties.
- Coriander is packed with anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties that control cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and it improves the functioning of brain and regulates the level of sugar in blood.
Garam masala is grabbing more and more attention of foodies. It’s delicious, aromatic and healthy. Once you will taste the warm, fragrant and exotic taste of this spice, you’ll want to taste it again and again.
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