Garam Masala is an Essential Ingredient for Many Indian Curries
I first posted this garam masala recipe back in 2011. Today I’ve decided to update it a little and supply a few more photographs. This is my everyday garam masala. It’s the one I use for almost all of my recipes.
That said, there are many more spice blends to come. Consider this a generic recipe that is good to have on hand and will work well in all curries. Some spice blends are better with certain curries and marinades than others, however so I will be posting them too.
Every good Indian restaurant seems to have their own special garam masala. I’ve seen so many made during my visits to Indian restaurants around the UK. Some have as few as five different spices while others include up to twenty.
Good quality whole spices are essential. So is the way you roast them. For best results, you will want to roast each spice type on its own as I’ve done here. The reason for this is that different spices roast to perfection in different amounts of time.
That’s really just being technical though. If you are short on time, just roast your spices together. That’s what I normally do. As I’m planning a special dinner for guests this weekend, I’ve decided to go all out and do things the proper way.
You might ask yourself why you would want to go to the trouble of making your own garam masala. There are some good quality brands out there after all.
The answer is simple. We enjoy our food not just through our mouths but through our noses. When you roast and grind your own garam masala, you will get a better flavour than what is available commercially. You will also notice the amazing aroma of freshly roasted and ground spices.
I demonstrate this in my curry classes. If you take a good quality garam masala and open it, you won’t be hit with the same sensational aroma that you will get from your own homemade garam masala.
That amazing aroma only lasts for one day which is why cooks in India make their garam masalas in small batches daily. You could store your garam masala in an air-tight container to use as required but that aroma will only be there on the first day.
I tend to use my garam masala in my curries as the flavour is there for a good three months. If I am making a special dinner for friend and/or family, however, I will make a small fresh batch to sprinkle over the top. Doing this you will get the amazing flavour and the scent of the fresh garam masala will fill the room.
Be very careful not to over-cook your spices! You just want them to be warm to the touch. If they are smoking, as many recipes suggest you do, you are actually burning the spices and they will taste bitter.