Wednesday, February 07, 2007
MySpice -- Garam Masala
Whole Garam Masla for me consists of the following spices, Elaichi or Cardamom, Laung or Cloves, Tej Pata or Bay Leaves, Darchini or Cinnamon and in some cases mace and peppercorns
In North Indian and Bengali cuisine Whole Garam Masala and Ground Garam Masala play an important role. If you have paid any attention to my recipes till date you will find in most I use Cardamom, Cloves, Bay Leaves and Cinnamon or whole Jeera for tempering. This is in sharp contrast to the cuisine from South of India where the spices for everyday tempering is Mustard seeds and Curry leaves. The different spices used for tempering lend a different flavor to the oil and hence the food.
While Whole Garam Masala is used for tempering, ground garam masala is mixed with the food at the last stage of cooking to lend a flavor and aroma and peps up the dish. I use the Ground Garam masala mostly for meat dishes and if I want to make a dish rich & spicy.
Ground Garam Masala is sold at stores in several varieties. But most of the time I dry roast the above whole spices and then grind them in a spice or coffee grinder to make the powder. In many regions the Bay Leaves might be omitted while grinding.
Though "Garam" means hot, this hot is not the same "hotness" as in peppers. This masala helps increasing the body temperature and so makes it "garam".
So in this cold winter spice up your life with Garam Masala