I LOVE Indian food. I love going out to eat it, cooking it, and eating more of it! I’m a sucker for buffets. I am able to try a bit of everything and get inspiration for recreating them myself and make it with much healthier oils.
Garam masala is a fragrant blend of spices commonly used in Indian cooking. Garam masala translates literally as “warm spice mix”. Garam means “heat” but not the type of heat that you would expect from a chile pepper but the warmth you feel as you eat a dish with the spices in them.
Every cook has a slightly different variation. The basis is generally cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and black pepper. I based my simple garam masala of a recipe in my favourite Indian cookbook “Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul“.
Garam Masala may be most common is India but it I also had it on chicken shwarma when I was in Bethlehem a few years ago. I love how versatile it can be- in a pinch I have even been known to use it with black tea to make a quick cup of chai!
If you buy garam masala from the store there are often fillers added to cut costs. Be sure to read the ingredients to be sure it is an unadulterated blend.
I bought most of my spices at Mountian Rose Herbs, but my Ceylon cinnamon came from the local Mexican market. You can also find it on Amazon. I chose to start with ground herbs, you can buy them pre-ground or grind them yourself in a spice grinder, but I just use a coffee grinder. If you really want to get a work out you can grind them by hand in a mortar and pestle.
Other Indian Inspired Dishes to Try:
- 3 TBS ground cardamon
- 2 TBS ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 TBS ground cloves
- ½ TBS ground pepper
- Mix all the spices together and save in a glass container.
Simple Garam Masala
3 TBS ground cardamon
2 TBS ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 TBS ground cloves
1/2 TBS ground pepper
1. Mix all the spices together and save in a glass container.