EASY INDIAN GARAM MASALA
Easy Indian Cookbook
by Manju Malhi
Garam masala quite literally means a mixture of hot spices and is a blend of dry-roasted whole spices from northern India that are ground to a powder. Garam masala is usually added at the end of cooking to finish off a dish with a delicate aroma of roasted spices, but it can also be added with other spices during cooking. Once you've made this, you'll find there is no comparison between a fresh blend you make at home and the store-bought varieties that have been sitting on a shelf for months.
Makes about 5 tablespoons
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 minutes
• 4 pieces cinnamon stick or cassia bark, each 2-inches long
• 12 bay leaves
• 5 black cardamom pods
• 20 green cardamom pods
• 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon cloves
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1. HEAT a dry skillet over medium-low heat until you can feel the heat rising. Add the cinnamon stick or cassia bark, bay leaves, and black cardamom and roast tor 30 seconds, shaking the pan.
2. ADD the remaining spices and continue roasting, shaking the pan, for about 1 minute longer, or until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
3. REMOVE the pan from the heat and immediately tip the spices onto a plate and let cool completely.
4. TRANSFER the spices to a spice mill and blend until finely ground. Store the mixture in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight, up to 6 months.
Panch Phoron — Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add 4 dried red chilies, 1/2 teaspoon each brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, and fennel seeds and roast, shaking the pan constantly, about 3 minutes, or until you can smell the aroma. Watch carefully so the seeds do not burn. Let cool completely, then grind and store as above.
Dhansak Masala — Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add a 2-inch piece cinnamon stick or cassia bark, 20 green cardamom pods, 2 teaspoons each cumin and coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon each black peppercorns, brown mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds, 4 bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each cloves and turmeric. Roast, shaking the pan constantly, about 3 minutes, or until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Let cool completely, then grind and store as above.