Garam Masala which is a hindi word where garam means hot and masala means spices. It is a basic blend of spices very common in india and other South Asian cuisines. The spices in a garam masala differs according to region and personal taste. Basically the common ingredients are black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole cloves, green cardamom seeds, black/brown cardamom seeds, dried bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Garam masala is pungent but not hot as chilli peppers.
This highly aromatic seasoning serves as an all-purpose blend in Indian cooking, seasoning non vegetarian and vegetarian dishes . Often it is sprinkled on the top of dishes towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its special flavor.
You can get garam masala in every grocery store these days but I like to make my own masala at home which allows me to control the ingredients according to my taste . Garam masala is like any other recipe. It is very easy to put together and once you do it you are not going to get the packed ones from the stores.
Freshly ground garam masala can be stored for up to 3-4 months in an air-tight container in your pantry.
- 4 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 4 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoon black pepper corns
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 6 large black cardamom
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 dried bay leaves
- Heat a skillet and carefully dry roast all of the above ingredients on low flame. Stir once in a while.
- Once the spices are roasted, turn off the flame and let it cool.
- Once cooled, grind them all together to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
- Store in an air-tight container in your pantry and use as needed.