Here is another spice blend that I find absolutely necessary if you plan to make curry. We bought this blend from the store on a whim, and I use it in all my curries now. It gave my curry such an authentic flavor from what I was used to with just straight curry powder.
Garam masala (Hindi: गरम मसाला, Western Punjabi: ਗਰਮ ਮਸਾਲਾ,Urdu: گرم مصالحہ garam (“hot”) and masala (a mixture of spices)) is a blend of ground spices common in North India, South India, Pakistan, and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The word garam refers to “heat” in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, meaning “to heat the body” as these spices, in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, elevate body temperature. via Garam masala
Because I am not a huge foodie, I don’t stock up on many whole spices. I don’t grind them up myself and rarely experiment. I joke with my husband about not having a very discerning pallet. He would often ask me to guess, or help him determine what spice was in a food. He was very good at this, I would just look at him dumbfounded. Unless it was a very strong spice like cinnamon or mint, I couldn’t tell you. Once they are mixed together, I can tell you whether I like the flavors or not.
For this reason, I found a recipe for garam masala that uses already powdered versions of the herbs and spices needed for the blend. There are LITERALLY hundreds of recipes for this blend out there, as each region, area and even household has their own preferred version. More traditional versions start with whole spices, toasting them slightly and then grinding them. So play with it, have fun.
Easy Garam Masala Spice Blend
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (mace)