Garam masala is a blend of wonderful spices used in most Indian dishes. This is the secret behind the mouth-watering Indian dishes and it is very easy to make it at home.
The other day a lovely friend of mine from India invited me at her place to teach me some cooking secrets and this spice blend was the first on the list. You can put it in any dish, from soups, omelette, lentils, hummus to any meat dish in order to get a rich, nice flavour.
I was fascinated to see how my friend knew so many things about each spice and its health benefits. I could see that this blend is not only used to enhance the food’s taste but also for its health benefits; it is thought to improve digestion, relieve inflammation and boost the overall health. In fact, spices are a huge part of the Ayurvedic practice which is a traditional and ancient medicine system. According to Ayurveda, each food substance has a specific taste and when the tastes are used in proper amounts they bring balance of our bodily systems. Ayurveda believes that garam masala contains all 6 tastes for a perfectly balanced dish: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, astringent.
You can buy this blend from any supermarket but because of the shelf life the oils tend to evaporate so ideally you would want to make your own batch at home which you can store for up to a month in an airtight jar or container.
Bay leaves – 12 leaves
Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
Caraway seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green cardamom - 1 tablespoon
Brown cardamom - 1 tablespoon
Dry red chilli - ½ teaspoon
Pepper corns - ½ teaspoon
Cloves - 1 tablespoon
Place all the spices in a dry-frying pan or skillet and heat over a low heat, stirring constantly until they turn a shade or two darker, take care not to burn them.
Remove them from the heat and let them cool down. Then grind the toasted spices in a mixer or spice grinder to a fine powder.
Store the garam masala powder in an air-tight container and use it to flavour your dishes as required.