Garam Masala

Out of the main bustle of the Coffee shop this is where people gather to share recipes and tips/tricks.

Garam Masala

Postby FoodMary » March 7th, 2013, 3:17 pm

When I stayed with my friends in Florida I was treated to a feast of Indian food as my host Kalyan Dey was born and brought up in India but has lived in the US since University. This is a recipe he gave me of his family's version of Garam Masala. I asked if I might share it with you.

Garam Masala

To make 1 1/2 cups

5 x 3 inch pieces cinnamon stick
1 cup whole cardamom pods - preferably green
1/2 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup whole cumin seeds
1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
1/2 cup whole peppercorns

Preheat oven to 180 C. Spread cinnamon,cardamoms, cloves, cumin, coriander and peppercorns on a large roasting tray. Roast on bottom shelf for 20 - 30 minutes, turning spices. Do not allow to brown. Remove from oven and cool. Remove cardomom seeds from pods and put with all the other spices into a grinder - whizz until evenly ground. You can use a mortar and pestle but the grind will not be so fine.

Use as directed in recipes or sprinkle over food.
I even dream about food!
User avatar
FoodMary
Registered
 
Posts: 7222
Joined: August 5th, 2010, 4:34 pm
Location: Nailsworth

Re: Garam Masala

Postby ianinfrance » March 7th, 2013, 4:16 pm

Thanks Mary. Snagged. That recipe is very similar to the Charmaine Solomon one in South East Asian Cookery, though she also adds a little nutmeg. I might well try it out when I next have to make some to see how it turns out.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Garam Masala

Postby karadekoolaid » March 8th, 2013, 12:27 am

Thank you, Mary!
Since there are absolutely no Indian stores in Venezuela, I have to make my own. I've used about 4 or 5 recipes so far, and this one looks somewhat different; highly aromatic and perfumed because of the large amount of cardamoms.
Roasting the spices definitely makes a difference. The resulting flavour is far, far superior to shop-bought Garam Masala!.
" Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like Hell!"
User avatar
karadekoolaid
Registered
 
Posts: 4535
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 12:17 am
Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Re: Garam Masala

Postby barnsleycook » March 8th, 2013, 9:31 pm

That sounds delicious. I usually make the Madhur Jaffrey one, but will give this recipe a try.
barnsleycook
Registered
 
Posts: 564
Joined: August 19th, 2010, 9:11 pm

Re: Garam Masala

Postby catssquirrel » March 8th, 2013, 10:54 pm

I have used the GM I make for nearly 40 years, and had no reason to change it. It comprises roughly equal parts of
green cardamom
cassia bark
mace
cloves
That is all.
Just powder in a grinder, and store in an air tight container. It is very potent, and not for sprinkling on an Indian dish at the end of cooking!
No cumin or coriander, as these will probably be listed separately, and are found in shop bought GM to cheapen it. Roasting the spices will change the flavour of the cumin and coriander, and darken them, but the rest will only lose flavour, especially the pepper, which changes its flavour on heating, not for the better, IMHO! I add it separately.
kindest regards from Cat
take time to smell the roses
User avatar
catssquirrel
Registered
 
Posts: 78
Joined: December 12th, 2012, 12:48 am
Location: Glorious Devon

Re: Garam Masala

Postby karadekoolaid » March 8th, 2013, 11:13 pm

No cumin or coriander, as these will probably be listed separately, and are found in shop bought GM to cheapen it.


Not true, really. The Parsis have something called dhanjeera garam masala, which has plenty of Dhania (coriander) and Jeera (Cumin). Different taste,different zone.
Camelia Panjabi in her book " 50 Great Curries of India" declares that a classic GM contains more or less equal parts of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and a little black cardamom.
Sameen Rushdie suggests using both black and green cardamoms, BLACK cumin seeds ( which are very aromatic) and bay leaves.
Maya Kaimal from Kerala uses star anise, fennel and nutmeg .
My favourite is one called Marathi Garam Masala, which includes toasted coconut.
I personally always toast the spices lightly, which helps release the essential oils. I don't find they lose flavour; on the contrary,I find the flavour is enhanced.
" Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like Hell!"
User avatar
karadekoolaid
Registered
 
Posts: 4535
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 12:17 am
Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Re: Garam Masala

Postby catssquirrel » March 9th, 2013, 12:13 am

yes, true, really. The GM in shop bought garam masala has all sorts of cheap other spices added, which lessen the impact of the proper spices. Originally, garam masala was a mix of spices used by the Mogul chefs for their Royal dishes, and therefore of Persian origin. The individual spices came from Africa and Indonesia (and pepper from Kerala), with cassia coming from somewhere along the Silk Road trade routes, as dal chini as it is known in Hindi, means 'wood from China', and would only have reached India via expensive trade routes. Purchasers of said GM would not have tolerated 'cutting' with cheap spices.

As time passed, so people adapted GM to their own needs, and added quite a lot of other ingredients. Black cumin, not an Indian spice, really, is used in the NW, but bay leaves are not only not Indian, but contain nearly the same essentials as green cardamom, so would not be impactful. The Kerala one reflects the trade with China and Northern India, and the Marathi one really is a bit too far away from GM to be called GM. Dhanajeera is a mix of the two spices, but ground together, so that a slightly different flavour is obtained, I use it all the time. Parsi originated in Persia, so would have been acquainted with pure GM. They use a mix of spices including dhanajeera, and other spices, to add to dishes like Dhansak, but I wouldn't call it a garam masala.

Essentailly (sorry) GM is a mix of pungent spices added at the beginning of cooking, where oil is used to extract the flavour components. If other spices are added, like coriander or cumin, these can easily burn. Heating these spices to roast them only pushes the essential oils into the kitchen atmosphere, which is a bit of a waste, and an expensive waste.
Last edited by catssquirrel on March 9th, 2013, 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
kindest regards from Cat
take time to smell the roses
User avatar
catssquirrel
Registered
 
Posts: 78
Joined: December 12th, 2012, 12:48 am
Location: Glorious Devon

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Mamta » March 9th, 2013, 7:32 am

Shall I jump in here :D ?
As I have mentioned before, GM can and does vary from family to family and from region to region in India. Even the amount of each spice can vary, depending upon what a family likes/has used traditionally and what they can afford. Some spices in it are quite expensive in India and well out of reach of many people.
Most people I know do not add coriander or cumin to GM, because that dilutes the flavours and because these spices are already there in most Indian spice boxes/cupboards to be used are separately. They are generally used early on in the recipe, whereas ground garam masala is generally used towards the end of cooking. The whole spices it is made from, are however added to the hot oil at the beginning of the cooking, so they can infuse the food with their flavours. I find that if you add the ground garam masala early on in your cooing, you can't really smell them by the end, though you do not do any harm. But there is no right or wrong when it comes to making GM and using it. As for cumin in it, most north Indian people will have a small pot of roasted and coarsely ground cumin seeds in the spice box, to be sprinkled at the end if they want, or to add to raitas and soups and chaats and such like. So there is no need to add it to the GM.
I must confess, I never measure the ingredients before grinding my GM, just do it by the 'eye'. My mix is roughly this. It seems like it was the first recipe I ever wrote down for my website (its number is 1), though I don't remember this. Memory is fading fast :shock:!
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby Annie » April 24th, 2013, 7:11 pm

I've just started an Asian cooking class as it is an area I distinctly lack knowledge and experience. Yesterday we discussed spices as part of the course.
So although I know that garam masala is a 'spice mix' I didn't know what went into it. Although I did know that they can vary immensely.

Yesterday I made my own with a base mix of 2:2:1 cumin seeds, corriander seeds and black pepper corns. It is then up to me as to what else I would like to add.

So do you make your own and if so what do you put in yours :?:

TIA
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby spotteddick » April 24th, 2013, 7:38 pm

Always and almost always different, I use mamtas quite a lot, in varying stages of faithfulness, I tend to alter and add as I feel fit, but in general stay quite close to the beaten track. There are a lot of different garam masala's depending on where they come from and as you said it just means a mixture of spices.
Here is a one that I make for Lamb, but it goes well with goat, and pork as well.

http://spotteddick-itsallinthegame.blog ... curry.html

But I am sure you've had a look at Mamta's web site here are two from her that I am apt to use quite regularly

http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_display.php?id=1

and the Kashmiri one this is totaly different again and I used it in a smashing curry 2 years ago for my birthday

http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_dis ... p?id=10566
Cheers

Dick

Just because you're wandering doesn't mean you're lost!!


http://spotteddick-itsallinthegame.blogspot.com/
User avatar
spotteddick
Registered
 
Posts: 7023
Joined: April 10th, 2010, 5:11 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby ianinfrance » April 24th, 2013, 8:50 pm

Yes I make my own. We talked about this a few months ago.

I think that if you do a search through wildfood using garam masala as a search term, you will find the discussion we had on it last time.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby karadekoolaid » April 25th, 2013, 2:40 am

I make my own - in fact, several of my own. If someone could pull up the thread, I think it'd be very useful for you, Annie.
" Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like Hell!"
User avatar
karadekoolaid
Registered
 
Posts: 4535
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 12:17 am
Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Re: Garam Masala

Postby suffolk » April 25th, 2013, 4:49 am

Bumping :D
Image
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
User avatar
suffolk
Registered
 
Posts: 34717
Joined: August 11th, 2010, 6:47 am
Location: East Anglia, surprisingly!

Re: Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby suffolk » April 25th, 2013, 4:51 am

I've bumped it up :D
Image
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
User avatar
suffolk
Registered
 
Posts: 34717
Joined: August 11th, 2010, 6:47 am
Location: East Anglia, surprisingly!

Re: Garam Masala, What's in yours

Postby Mamta » April 25th, 2013, 6:35 am

I use mamtas quite a lot, in varying stages of faithfulness,

:lol: :lol: :lol: I too am not faithful to it Dick, since I hardly ever measure anything.
Yesterday I made my own with a base mix of 2:2:1 cumin seeds, corriander seeds and black pepper corns.

Annie, I can't agree that this is Garam Masala. The word Garam actually means Hot, in taste, as well as flavour. Masala means 'spice mix'. 2:2:1 cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black pepper corns though a nice and flavoursome spice mix, can't be too hot in it's flavour or taste.
Many ready made GMs have cheaper fillers like coriander and cumin, actual garam masala ingredients being quite expensive in comparison, including the south Indian version. Southern India grows most of the GM ingredients, so has extra ones like nutmeg/mace, which are not so cheap in the north. Star anise was not something traditionally used in India very often. It was not grown there as far as I know, though modern chefs do use it.
Anyone watching Masterchef India?
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Garam Masala

Postby ianinfrance » April 25th, 2013, 3:05 pm

I've merged the two topics .
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Garam Masala

Postby catssquirrel » April 25th, 2013, 3:44 pm

I believe that garam, although meaning hot in Hindi, is actually referring to the spiritual, rather than the corporal. Some one may get a 'warm feeling', although not from the heat of the spice. It refers, I think to Ayurvedic principals. ;)
Last edited by catssquirrel on April 25th, 2013, 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
kindest regards from Cat
take time to smell the roses
User avatar
catssquirrel
Registered
 
Posts: 78
Joined: December 12th, 2012, 12:48 am
Location: Glorious Devon

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Annie » April 25th, 2013, 4:59 pm

Mamta wrote:to it Dick, since I hardly ever measure anything.
Yesterday I made my own with a base mix of 2:2:1 cumin seeds, corriander seeds and black pepper corns.

Annie, I can't agree that this is Garam Masala. The word Garam actually means Hot, in taste, as well as flavour. Masala means 'spice mix'. 2:2:1 cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black pepper corns though a nice and flavoursome spice mix, can't be too hot in it's flavour or taste.
Interesting view Mamta.
The lady who teaches the course is of Asian decent and it is her basis that uses the 2:2:1 and then she says it is entirely up to us as to what we want in after that depending on our personal taste.
I am going for cloves and cinnamon not sure as to cardamom I was wondering with the other flavours if it would be lost and therefore pointless.

When it comes for grinding I found that the spice blender wasn't that great and it was very coarse so the pestle and mortar gave a much better texture.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala

Postby ianinfrance » April 25th, 2013, 5:05 pm

I always thought that the word "Garam" although it means "hot", doesn't have the same sort of implication that the word "hot" does for spices in English. We would/could say that Chillies, ginger, mustard, horseradish and pepper are all "hot spices in English, whereas - as I understand it, in the Indian subcontinent the meaning of "hot" is not at all the same.

I could well be wrong here, however.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Mamta » April 25th, 2013, 5:27 pm

Annie, Cloves, cinnamon and black/brown/large cardamoms will be good. Nothing will be lost, they all give out their own individual flavours.
I also add a few bay leaves, for what it is worth. I am not sure that they make that much difference, but I do it anyway, because that is how my mum taught me and because it is part of the traditional recipe :roll: .
I must admit that I have never heard of GM main ingredients as '2:2:1 cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black pepper corns', leaving all the other main fragrant ingredients to imagination. But of course, I could be entirely wrong.
If I was adding coriander and cumin seeds, I will add less of them in proportion, because they dilute the flavour of GM somewhat. Ready-made ones often have a lot of coriander and cumin seeds, because they are cheaper than the other whole spices. Most north Indian 'curries' will already have coriander and cumin in them, so personally I keep these separate from my GM. But of course there are no strict rules, you can very the amounts to your individual taste.
I keep a separate coffee grinder for making spices. It helps if you crack the large cardamoms first and break cinnamon stick into small pieces by a rolling pin or in your mortar. I sieve my GM through a wire sieve, grinding the resulting coarse bits again and again, until all is fine. I add it at the end generally, so if it had big 'bits' it will be quite unpleasant.
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Annie » April 25th, 2013, 6:10 pm

I thought the bigger bits would be quite unpleasant which is why I put them through the pestle and mortar and I too sieved them to make sure they were fine enough for my liking.

Mamta wrote: But of course, I could be entirely wrong.
If I was adding coriander and cumin seeds, I will add less of them in proportion, because they dilute the flavour of GM somewhat. Ready-made ones often have a lot of coriander and cumin seeds, because they are cheaper than the other whole spices. Most north Indian 'curries' will already have coriander and cumin in them, so personally I keep these separate from my GM.
I doubt you're wrong at all. Certainly not with your tried and tested recipes, I am always in awe of your culinary skills. :kneel: . It is more likely to be the difference with either family or location variations. It may well be a monetary reason too if the family that my teacher comes from have had to make spices bulk out. Not being anywhere near an expert or have the audacity to try to pretend I have any background knowledge of such things I can only guess.

I must try som brown/black cardamoms and see what I think of them. I only have experience of green ones and I like their flavour and aroma.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Mamta » April 25th, 2013, 8:24 pm

It is more likely to be the difference with either family or location variations. It may well be a monetary reason too if the family that my teacher comes from have had to make spices bulk out.

You are probably right Annie, we all do things differently :-)
I must try som brown/black cardamoms and see what I think of them. I only have experience of green ones and I like their flavour and aroma.

Yes, you should Annie, it is worth trying them both. Green ones have a different and gentler flavour, mostly used in desserts/drinks and things like simple Pulao (pilaf) and biryanies. Brown ones are stronger, perhaps a bit harsher, more suited to curries and also biryanies. Both are lovely in their own place and I sometimes use them together,
I am always in awe of your culinary skills.

What culinary skills? I just know what I know, no more! I know what a marvellous cook you are Annie :tu: .
Cheers :cocktail:
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Garam Masala

Postby StokeySue » April 29th, 2013, 3:59 pm

Maybe I souldn't mention it here - but I bought some ready made Garam Masal in Lidl last week - mainly because I liked the tin :oops:
The brand is Fiddes Payne, and it is a very nice, aromatic, spice blend :tu:

Image

I also have their Madras Curry Powder - no, I don't use it to make curries but for European uses of curry, such as curry mayonnaise, and it is a good one for the purpose.
Sue
User avatar
StokeySue
Registered
 
Posts: 17501
Joined: April 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
Location: Stoke Newington (London)

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Annie » April 29th, 2013, 4:56 pm

What's in the blend Sue, do you know ?

Mamta wrote:What culinary skills? I just know what I know, no more! I know what a marvellous cook you are Annie .
Mamata to us you are the oracle of Indian cooking on here as you I'm sure are aware. I'm a total numpty when it comes to spices and blends. I just plod along taking people's word for gospel and not knowing why. I need to get to grips with spices.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Mamta » May 18th, 2013, 6:09 am

Maybe I souldn't mention it here - but I bought some ready made Garam Masal in Lidl last week - mainly because I liked the tin :oops:
The brand is Fiddes Payne, and it is a very nice, aromatic, spice blend

Sue, a woman after my own heart:-). I have bought things in LIDL/ALDI, because I have liked the look of a jar or a tin! generally, the contents haven't turned out bad either :tu: . I bought a couple of jars of body cream a while back, just because they had lovely swing lids. the cream turned out to be quite good too :D .
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Annie » May 18th, 2013, 6:45 am

Mamta wrote:I bought a couple of jars of body cream a while back, just because they had lovely swing lids. the cream turned out to be quite good too .
Was that from the Cien (I think that is the name of it) range?
Superscrimpers do a survey where they take budget ranges and compare against the top sellers. Lidl's creams came out top.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Mamta » May 18th, 2013, 5:16 pm

Yes it was Annie :tu:
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3882
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Zosherooney » May 18th, 2013, 6:45 pm

Another lovely thread to read and digest (not the cien cream from Lidls) I adore GM and have fiddled a bit here and there and yes, as Mamta suggests it is an ending rather than being added at the begining as I understand it. Love the history from various Indian family recipes, just like reading a Madjur Jaffrey recipe book.
User avatar
Zosherooney
Registered
 
Posts: 9462
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 3:04 pm

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Hope » May 18th, 2013, 6:48 pm

Thanks for the reminder. I've run out of ready made, so it seems like I'm going to make my first ever batch next week!
Hope
Registered
 
Posts: 3810
Joined: August 8th, 2010, 2:06 pm

Re: Garam Masala

Postby Annie » May 19th, 2013, 8:05 am

I love the fact that I can just alter it to suit my taste not just in quantity but content too.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13701
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Garam Masala

Postby thor » November 6th, 2017, 6:02 am

Garam Masala 1

4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
10cm/4 inch cinnamon stick
1/4 nutmeg

Garam Masala 2

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (husks removed)
1 teaspoon cloves
5cm/2 inch cinnamon stick

Fragrant Garam Masala

1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon mace blades
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (husks removed)
10cm/4 inch cinnamon stick

Dry roast, grind and mix together as per the curry powder recipes.
thor
 
Posts: 1
Joined: November 6th, 2017, 5:58 am


Return to The Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 8 guests