Garam masala

Garam masala

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
75 g

A fragrant blend of spices used in curries. There are dry masalas in powder form and wet masalas ground into a paste with water, oil or vinegar. The spices are roasted to bring out the flavour and make it easier when grinding to a fine powder. Commercial blends are available.

There are many versions of garam masala, and most cooks use their own favourite combinations of spices according to their preference. Some use hot spices such as pepper, while others use only the fragrant aromatic ones. Always use good-quality spices, and buy them from a store that has a rapid turnover to ensure freshness. After grinding the spices (use a blender or a mortar and pestle), store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place.

Garam masala is sometimes added to recipes with other spices at the frying stage, but it is more often used during the last few minutes of cooking, when it is sprinkled over the food.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds
4 x 8 cm sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 whole nutmeg, finely grated

Method

  1. Over medium heat in a small pan roast separately first coriander, then cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon and lastly cloves.
  2. Remove each spice from the pan as it begins to smell fragrant and cool it on a plate. Put all into a blender and blend to a fine powder or pound using a mortar and pestle. Mix in nutmeg and store in an airtight jar. Will keep several months.
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