“Garam Masala” – literally mean hot spices – is a quintessential spice mix used in Indian cuisine. The best part of this spice mix is that it varies from house to house! Would you not believe me? If my family despises cumin, I may well skip it off from my bottle of garam masala. I have seen black cardamom being used in some North Indian garam masala mix while this spice is not at all used in south India. A garam masala mix can be with as less as three spices to as many as is available to you. The flavor of the spice mix mainly depends upon which spice is used maximum and which spice is stronger in flavor. Whatever said and done, a pinch or a sprinkle of this spice mix will turn your bland gravy into something amazing. I am sure all of you would agree to this particular point… 🙂
Normally, coriander seeds are not a part of garam masala that we use for Malabar cooking. I am still trying to figure out what makes the best for us, but till then, this is my go-to mix. The recipe is very close to Punjabi garam masala mix. The best part of this mix is that it is really good to spike up a gravy where you hardly use any spices or use only turmeric and red chilli powders as base. I even found this amazingly flavorful as a dum ingredient for any biriyani that you make.
To make sure your garam masala stays fresh, use up within a month’s time, or else store the bottle in the fridge, especially if you have a humid kitchen like I do. I make a bottle every month, which goes into my daals, my curries as the final sprinkle and biriyanis. The satisfaction of making your own bottle of spice blend is definitely not explainable. 🙂
PST: This is the second spice blend recipe on the blog after the Bezaar. Off to the recipe…
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp shahjeera
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cloves
- 2 tsp black peppercorn
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- Combine all the whole spices together.
- Heat a saucepan and keeping the flame at the lowest possible, add all the spices and roast for five minutes or till a nice aroma comes.
- Switch off, empty into your blender jar and allow the spices to cool.
- Blitz them into a fine powder.
- Store in a glass bottle for a month at room temperature or even more in your fridge.