Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices specifically used in Indian cuisines. Garam (hot) Masala (a mixture of whole spices) is used alone or with other types of seasonings.
I always keep Garam Masala stored in an airtight container, as it's the main ingredient I use for making Indian recipes. The recipe differs from region to region depending on taste. Garam Masala is the main masala used in all of the Punjabi recipes.
I have tried many brands of Garam Masala but everyone lacks in flavor and freshness. My MIL gave me her recipe of Garam masala, and it turns out perfect every time with a few additions. I toast them before grinding so give a nice aroma to the masala.
HOMEMADE GARAM MASALA INGREDIENTS
- Coriander Seeds: These Coriander Seeds has a lemony citrus flavor. Adding them to curry gives a warm, nutty, and aromatic flavor.
- Cinnamon: This gives a nice aroma and flavoring to a wide variety of dishes. These are used in sweet as well as in savory dishes.
- Black Cardamoms: They have a strong, camphor-like flavor, with a smoky flavor by drying them. It gives a nice flavor to the masala so adding a few in the recipe is more than enough.
- Green Cardamoms: The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and other Asian cuisines.
- Cloves: Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar.
- Black Peppercorns: It is one of the spices used in almost all of the cuisines throughout the world because of its spicy flavor and is added in Garam masala.
- Cumin Seeds: Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavor and aroma. It provides an earthy flavor to the masala.
- Bay Leaves: These aromatic leaves commonly used in cooking. It can be used whole, or as dried and ground.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Roast the Spices?
You can make this Spice-Mix with roasting the spices or without roasting them. But when you roast them, the flavors will be elevated and the masala will be aromatic. You can roast them in the oven or at low-heat on the stove. Once the spices cools down, you can grind them finely in the spice grinder.
How to Store Garam Masala?
Once the spices are grounded, you can store in an air-tight container. When you store in an air-tight container the aroma of Masala will not be lost and will remain fresh for a longer time. Also if you don't use Masala that often, you can also store the Masala in the freezer.
What is the difference between Curry Powder & Garam Masala?
Both of the spice-mix contains most of the same ingredients, but still, these spices are far different from each other. Most of the Curry Powder flavor comes from cumin seeds, fenugreek, and turmeric powder. And Garam Masala flavor is mostly about cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and that makes the masala a little pungent and has a stronger flavor.
Homemade Garam Masala
- Add all the ingredients in a pan on stove-top and toast it for 3-4 minutes, till they are aromatic.
- Add ingredients in a spice grinder in batches and grind it finely. Repeat the process till all the spices are grounded.
- Store in an airtight container, and is good till 6 months.