Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Garam Masala spice

Garam Masala is a dry powdered spice that is used to season vegetables.
It is the King of spices because it is used widely from curry dishes to rice pilafs.
Usually, just a little garam masala adds a lot of taste. A little goes a long way.
It is a recipe for a spice and not a dish in itself.

Garam Masala can be purchased at your local Indian grocery store as well. Although one can buy it in the store ready-made, it does not keep as long as the individual spices that make it up so it is much better made at home and used within a few months, than purchased from a store where it might have sat for months, and in a warehouse even before that. Sometimes, it is shipped from India and depending upon the weather conditions, is not as fresh. The local store owners sometimes still sell the stale packets in order to turn the packets into profit.

When you make it at home you will find the difference in your curry or daal in terms of taste. The dishes turn out more flavorful, aromatic and delicious. Check out my recipe for daal fry that calls for garam masala spice.


1 cup red cardamom (Also known as badi elaichi in Hindi, different from tan colored small elaichi)
1/4 cup mace (Also known as javitri in Hindi)
1 cup black pepper
1 cup cloves

Peel the red cardamom and use the seeds for garam masala. If you live on the warm sunny coast of California or Florida keep the ingredients under the sun for a few hours before crushing them into thin powder in a mixer. If you are in the cold chilly shores of Lake Erie or Lake Michigan warm it on low heat in a griddle. Then crush them. This makes the blending relatively easier, and the blades of your blender last longer.
Once the ingredients are in powdered form, you can put them in an airtight bottle and keep it in a dry place. Lasts for three months.

I add a teaspoon or less in most of the preparations. So, this batch should last you a while.

Happy Cooking!

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