Garam masala – the classic spice blend that makes Indian dals, stews, subzis and biryanis come to life! This warm and earthy spice blend lends your dish bags of flavour and gives it an authenticity. What’s more, the impeccable amalgamation of spices and condiments heightens your cooking style, provides a whole host of surprising health benefits and saves loads of time too.
The Miracle Blend
The robust flavour of the garam masala is spot-on and it derives its flavour and aroma from a blend of these wonderful spices – cumin (jeera), red chilli, fennel (saunf), pepper, Amchur (crushed mango powder), star anise, ginger powder, fenugreek (leaves) [methi], cinnamon [dalchini], coriander (seeds and leaves) [Dhania], cloves [lavang], mace, asafoetida [heeng], nutmeg, bay leaves and cardamom (elaichi).
All these spices have fabulous health benefits – pepping up the metabolism, boosting immunity, improving digestion, fighting inflammation and even staving off cancer.
Let’s journey back
There is no one specific garam masala recipe that everyone adheres to. The ingredients tend to vary according to the region as well as the chef's preference. The blend is believed to have originated in Northern Indian, principally in traditional Mughlai dishes. North India has a relatively cold climate, and the warming spices are very welcome. Slowly, the masala migrated across the length and breadth of the country; and is even well-loved across the globe. Northern Indian cuisine uses garam masala that is pungent and typically in powder form while South India adds coconut shavings or coconut milk to the spices. You’ll find that diverse cultures have their own takes on the garam masala recipe. The masala has been a staple throughout history and even today is a very versatile and adaptable spice blend.
To help home cooks add the authentic flavour of garam masala in their dishes, master chef Sanjeev Kapoor shares his own recipe through Tata Sampann Garam Masala. This is a balanced spice blend which is comes closest to the original creation.
6 creative recipes that use the garam masala
The versatility of this masala allows you to cook a myriad of diverse dishes – curries, vegetable mixes and biryanis without the need for other aromas and spice blends, making things so much more easy and trouble-free. Think of the garam masala as a finishing spice which is usually added at the close of cooking. Interestingly, the use of garam masala is not limited only to the main course; you can use it in marinades, soups, sprinkle on your salads, use as a dry rub for meat before grilling, etc.
Indulge in these classic dishes that are easy to make and will soothe your soul!
1. Rajma masala: It's no secret that rajma chawal is one of the most delicious meals of all time, and we promise you'll be dreaming about the flavour-loaded kidney beans long after you’ve finished eating it. Thanks to the goodness of the garam masala!
2. Vegetable biryani: No one can dispute the fact that the garam masala has a very strong culinary role to play in our biryani recipe. Its presence or absence can actually make or break your recipe! The masala brings all the vegetables together wonderfully well and lends the dish the characteristic Mughlai flavour!
3. Chicken soup: A mere suggestion of garam masala can be a huge game-changer in this delicious, creamy and nutritious chicken soup! Warm, comforting goodness!
4. Cheesy mashed potato muffins: A fluffy potato side dish, this recipe is sure to become your favorite go-to for parties! Makes sure there’s lots of cheese, coriander and a smidge of the spice blend.
5. Peanut chutney: If you love peanuts, this peanut chutney is for you. Thick and creamy, this chutney is the ideal accompaniment to idlis, sandwiches and kebabs. This recipe brings together peanuts, coriander, chilli, garlic and garam masala; you’re bound to score points with the guests!
6. Mint and boondi raita: Crispy boondi dunked in creamy yogurt! Serve with pulav, biryani or rotis – the perfect and fail-safe accompaniment. The chillies bring in some heat, the garam masala lends it a zest and the mint leaves add freshness!
Yes! The garam masala takes the dahi vada to the very next level! Blend together chaat masala and garam masala and add to the sweet yogurt. The lentil dumplings in yogurt, garnished with coriander, black pepper, and cumin powder - all the fixings for a bowl of comfort food, right?
The garam masala is a warming, fragrant, full-bodied spice blend that packs punches of flavour in to your recipes – it is definitely a pantry must-have! Have you used it in a creative way? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.
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