Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices commonly found in India. it is used alone or in combination with other seasonings. The composition of Garam Masala differs from region to region.
Masalas are spices blended together into a special blend and can be either dry or used as a paste. The flavors can be either more mild and fragrant, or contain more spices. It varies and depends on the particular cook and what they like. The other thing that makes the difference is the dish itself. To enhance the flavor, these spices are often dry fried before they are ground up. This brings out an even greater depth of flavor.
There are a few different kinds of Masala. You will find Garam Masala, Kashmiri Masala, Chat Masala, Madrasi Masala, and Green Masala and maybe more. Today I am focusing on the wonderful Garam Masala.
Garam MasalaThe word garam means hot, or warm, and garam masala means hot or warm spices. This is a North Indian spice mixture, that is truly wonderful and worth trying sometime. Often, spices are used during cooking, but garam masala is able to be sprinkled on the finished product. It would be like sprinkling salt or pepper, but you are adding all these wonderful spices. It adds its amazing aroma of roasted spices. It is versatile though and can really be used any way you wish, including adding on food before it is cooked to enhance flavors throughout the cooking process.
Following is a recipe that is widely used in Indian Homes, hotels and restaurants not only in India but also world over.
Star anise - 1-2
black cardamom - 2
Black peppercorn - 21/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 2 x 1 inch sticks
Cloves - 1 tablespoon
Green Cardamom - 4 grams
Mace - 1 blade
Coriander seeds - 4 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 3 tablespoons
Grated nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry roast on light heat all the ingredients one by one starting with cumin seeds and finishing with Mace. Make sure that all the ingredients are roasted properly. mix all the ingredients and let them cool. once cool grind them to a fine powder. Store the powder in an airtight container in a dry area. Use the powder in any curries as a garnish or use it by itself as the main spice.