Garam Masala – The Stay At Home Chef

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Spice up your cooking routine with homemade garam masala, a lively and aromatic mixture that is a staple in Indian cuisine. This traditional blend is not just a spice; It’s a game changer for your kitchen. With its rich, warm flavours, garam masala adds delightful depth to a variety of dishes. It’s incredibly easy to make and provides freshness you can’t find in store-bought versions. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out, this homemade mixture will transform your dishes and introduce your family to exciting new flavors.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Homemade means you control the freshness and quality of your spices.
  • You can easily adjust spice levels to suit your family’s taste and spice tolerance.
  • It stores well with a long shelf life, ensuring you always have it on hand.
  • It can be less expensive than store-bought garam masala.
A spoonful filled with homemade garam masala.

Ingredients and alternatives

Individual garam masala spices in a black bowl, not yet mixed together.
  • cumin: Adds dirt.
  • Kasbra: Offers a citrus scent.
  • Cardamom: Contributes to the sweet taste of flowers.
  • black pepper: Adds heat and sharpness. White pepper can be a milder alternative.
  • cinnamon: Provides sweetness and warmth.
  • clove: Add a sour and sweet flavour. Spices can be used if cloves are not available.
  • Nutmeg: Completes the mixture with a slightly sweet, nutty taste.

Using substitutes may affect the final taste.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use whole spices?

certainly! Using store-bought ground spices is the most convenient option, but grinding fresh whole spices will give the freshest flavor.

What is the shelf life of homemade garam masala?

Stored in an airtight container, it can last up to six months.

Can I omit a spice I don’t like?

definitely! Feel free to customize the mix.

Is garam masala spicy?

It is warmer and more aromatic than hot. Adjust black pepper for heat.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, it’s perfect for making larger quantities.

The visual guide to making garam masala

A set of two pictures showing the process of making homemade garam masala.

Cooking with garam masala

Multiple uses in everyday cooking

Garam Masala isn’t just for special occasions; It’s a great blend of everyday spices. Here are some quick ways to use it:

  • spices: Sprinkle over grilled vegetables, stir into soup, or mix with pickles.
  • The final touch: Add a pinch at the end of cooking to enhance curries, dals and sauces.
  • Aromatic base: Start your dish by heating the garam masala in oil to release its aroma before adding the other ingredients.

Classic garam masala recipes

  • Chicken tikka masala: This beloved dish features grilled pieces of marinated chicken coated in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce. Garam masala plays a key role in both the marinade and the sauce, providing warmth and depth to the dish.
  • Butter chicken: Often confused with chicken tikka masala, butter chicken has a milder, buttery sauce with a hint of sweetness. Garam masala is used to season the chicken and is also added to the sauce, giving the dish a distinctive, comforting flavour.
  • Vegetable biryani: This aromatic rice dish is packed with vegetables and filled with garam masala. The spice blend is used to season vegetables and rice, creating a harmonious blend of flavours.
  • Chana masala: A popular vegetarian dish made with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions and a variety of spices including garam masala. It’s a perfect example of how you can use this spice blend to elevate simple ingredients.

find the mistakes and resolve it

  • Lacks flavour? Check the freshness of your spices.
  • too hot? Limit the black pepper or cloves next time.
  • Isn’t it aromatic? Toast the spices a little before grinding them.

Tips from the chef

  • Use and grind fresh whole spices for the best flavor.
  • Label your homemade spice blend with a date to track freshness.
Top view of individual spices to make garam masala in a black bowl.

Storage instructions

  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • Stays good for up to 6 months.
  • No need to refrigerate or freeze.

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