How To Use Garam Masala: Recipe & Benefits Of This Warm Blend Of Spices
Garam masala is a popular spice-blend which is added in various dishes. If you are a beginner, it might be difficult for you to figure out how to use garam masala or when to use it. Read on to find out.
What Is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is a popular spice-blend and is used extensively in Indian cooking. The blend consists of a variety of spices, that come together to create a depth of flavors, with an unmissable aroma. Garam masala usually consists of warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and pepper, and that is why it is called ‘garam‘ masala; ‘garam means warm in Hindi. Not just the name, these warm spices are also responsible for giving the spice-blend a unique depth and fire. garam masala issued to make vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries and subzis in India. It is usually added towards the end of the cooking process. Typically, the spices used make garam masala are:
Garam masala doesn’t have a hot, spicy flavor but it adds a deep warming flavor to the dishes. Garam masala is used in the form of powder in the northern part of India, while in the Southern part of India, garam masala is used in the form of a paste made using coconut milk, water or vinegar. This powder of mixed spices is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
The recipes for garam masala vary depending on regions and the chef’s preference. Some are even passed down through generations like family heirlooms! All good cooks ensure that their garam masala is a perfect blend so that it can be used in various dishes. Some variations of garam masala may include Malabar leaves, bay leaves, fenugreek, tamarind, mace, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cassia leaves, saffron, and even a pinch of turmeric.
Taste Of Garam Masala
Garam masala adds to the dishes, a touch of heat due to cumin and black pepper, some floral notes, little sweetness, and warmth. It has a strong fragrance as it is a flavorful spice. The turmeric, cumin, and coriander present in garam masala make it smell like curry but still, garam masala is not too spicy.
How To Use Garam Masala
Garam masala is generally added at the end of the dish or when the dish is about to be cooked. It is added near the end of cooking any dish because then it will work like a seasoning as well as it will add aroma and its flavors to the dishes. Garam masala is made with fresh spices traditionally and it is used with some days due to its short shelf life. Garam masala can also be sprinkled on dishes like meat, curry, scrambled eggs, etc to add that warm flavor.
How To Make Garam Masala At Home
Garam masala can be bought from a store and can be made at home as well. Garam masala which is made at home is better in taste and flavor. The ingredients that you will need to make garam masala at home are:
- 2 dried chilies
- 1 tsp fresh nutmeg (grated)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 15 cloves
- 8 black cardamom pods
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- Heat a frypan on medium-high heat till it is fully heated and has slight smoke.
- Put all the ingredients in the frypan and shake and stir them for approximately 1 minute or till the time the smell of the spices is toasted, little darker and are giving out slight smoke.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the ingredients to cool down. after that, you need to grind all the ingredients in a spice grinder or you can also grind them with a mortar and pestle.
- After it is prepared, store it in an airtight container.
How To Store Garam Masala
Garam masala must be stored in a dark and cool place inside an airtight container. Ground garam masala tends to lose its potency real quick, hence it should be used as soon as possible. Even though it can be stored for up to 6 months, but as the garam masala gets older, it will lose its flavor.
Benefits Of Garam Masala
- The intention of garam masala is to balance out various flavors. Hence, when you add garam masala in your dishes, you bring out the flavor of the dish.
- When you use garam masala, you don’t need to use a lot of other seasonings.
- Many of the spices added in garam masala have health benefits, but one benefit they all have is that they improve the process of digestion.
- Garam masala was used as a warming spice in the tradition of Hindu Ayurveda Medicine, i.e. it raises the temperature of the body and improved metabolism.
Some Of The Delicious Ways To Enjoy The Flavor Of Garam Masala
Garam masala can be added to a variety of dishes due to its flavor. Some of the dishes and food items with which it can be used are:
- Aam Panna
- Apple crisp
- Carrot pudding
- Chocolate zucchini bread
- Gingerbread cookies
- Minced chicken
- Chicken tikka masala
- Chicken breast
- Basmati rice
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Hash browns
- Baked potato
- Afghan chili
- Red lentil soup
- Broccoli soup
In conclusion, garam masala is a versatile spice. A blend of different spices in it makes it a part of Indian kitchens. If you have not tried garam masala yet, you must try it due to its various benefits and flavors.