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Garam Masala



Garam masala, literally “hot spice” in Hindi, is a term for a mixture of spices used in Indian cooking. Many commercial brands are available, but keen cooks can grind and blend their own. This ensures freshness and means you have control over the quality and quantities of the individual spices. There is no one ‘official’ recipe and many Indian families have their own variety. Make your choice from the list of spices below, and grind them together with a pestle and mortar, spice mill (or pepper mill), or electric coffee grinder. Make small quantities, and store in an airtight container for no more than six months.

The traditional ingredients are:

  • Black or green cardamom
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • Black peppercorns
  • Cumin seeds, toasted
  • Nutmeg

Other common ingredients are:

  • Bay leaves
  • Fennel seeds
  • Coriander seed, toasted

Garam Masala
There are many versions of garam masala, some using hot spices, such as pepper, and others only the fragrant spices.
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds (measure after removing pods)
  • 4 x 7.5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a small pan roast separately the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. As each one starts to smell fragrant turn on to plate to cool. After roasting, peel the cardamoms, discard pods and use only the seeds. Put all into electric blender and blend to a fine powder. Finely grate nutmeg and mix in. Store in glass jar with airtight lid.

 

Variations of Garam Masala

There are many versions of garam masala, some using hot spices, such as pepper, and others only the fragrant spices. Here are some combinations to choose from according to your own personal taste. Made from good quality spices and stored-airtight, garam masala will keep its flavour and fragrance for months.

discard pods and use only the seeds. Put all into electric blender and blend to a fine powder. Finely grate nutmeg and mix in. Store in glass jar with airtight lid.


Fragrant Spice Garam Masala

Ingredients
  • 3 x 7½ cm cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds (measure after removing pods)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon blades of mace, or ½ nutmeg, grated
Procedure

Roast spices separately and grind in a blender or with mortar and pestle; add grated nutmeg, if used.


Kashmiri Garam Masala

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds (measure after removing pods)
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 x 5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • quarter of a nutmeg, grated
Procedure

Roast spices separately and grind to a fine powder. Add nutmeg. Store airtight.



 

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