Of all the masala mixes that exist in Indian cookery garam masala is the best known, after curry powder. The spice combination is widely debated and varies across regions.
Every family has their own recipe. This is ours.
Yes, you can buy it from your supermarket. Yes, you can buy it from Indian grocers. But these commercial preparations just do not taste the same as making it yourself. It is easy to make and will last about a month in an airtight container before it loses its flavour and tastes just like the store-bought ones.
Garam masala translates as ‘hot spice’ but a look at the ingredients would suggest something more savoury and subtle. It is usually added to a dish towards the end of the cooking process and will give dishes a perfumed lift when used this way.
It can be considered as being rather like pepper. Cook with it and use it to lift and season finished dishes.
This homemade garam masala is stronger, more pungent and aromatic than prepared mixes, so be cautious in its use so you do not overpower your dish.
Dry roast the whole spices, but not the bay leaves, in a hot pan for around two minutes, or until their colour changes. Set aside and allow to cool.
Place cooled spices in a grinder, add bay leaves and ginger powder then grind to a fine powder.
Remove from grinder and store in an air-tight jar.
- This will keep for about one month in a small air-tight jar before losing flavour.