Garam Masala

June 18, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Garam Masala

We’re expanding our flavor profiles today. When The International Kitchen started, we started by featuring cooking vacations to Italy and France. It took a long time for us to be able to expand to new destinations like India, Southeast Asia, and South America.

Today we’re featuring a wonderful spice blend from India. You might have seen pre-mixed Garam Masala in the store and not known what it is, but in fact it is a popular Indian spice mix, sort of like Chile Powder in the US! In India pretty much every cook has his or her own version, and really, it’s hard to get it wrong.

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A mixture of Indian spices.

Garam Masala

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 T coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (preferably black)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

An Indian spice market.Instructions
1. Roast the whole spices lightly in a dry pan – do not allow them to burn!

2. Set aside to cool (if you blend/crush them while hot they will become slightly moist).

3. Grind all the spices together in a spice grinder or a clean coffee bean grinder.

4. Store in an airtight container.

You can alter the recipe as you prefer. Some chefs like a bit more cumin, some more cinnamon. Don’t like fennel seed? Leave it out! Want a spicy version? Add 1/2 tsp red chile peppers (or cayanne pepper)! It’s easy to tailor the mixture to suit you and your family’s tastes, and you’ll be happy to use a fresh, home-made version rather than one that was prepackaged.

Fun fact: “garam” means “hot” – but the spice mixture is not spicy hot. It’s just believed to raise one’s body temperature.

You can try your garam masala mix in a variety of recipes, including this classic Awadhi Murg Tikka!

Learn more about Indian spices.

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