Spices have the ability to transform the most tasteless of dishes into a delicacy. The combinations are endless, as many as there are cooks. However, there are mixtures that, because of how well they work, have earned a name of their own. Such is the case of the Garam masala. If you are fond of Indian cuisine, it is more than likely that you know it and even have a jar in your kitchen. But if this is not the case, we will tell you what is Garam masala, how to prepare it at home and we give you seven recipes in which to use it.
Garam masala, which is translated into Spanish as hot mix, it is a combination of spices native to northern India. It is used to flavor meat, fish, seafood and vegetable dishes. Remember what in the West we know as curry powder (which is also a mixture of spices), only it is not yellow in color because it does not contain turmeric among its ingredients.
What spices does Garam masala have?
The basic mix del Garam masala is made with coriander seeds, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper. However, there is no single and canonical preparation. The ingredients for preparing Garam masala vary from town to town, even from family to family. With the Garam masala every master has his own trick.
Can you buy it already made?
You can find this ready-to-use spice mix at department stores, markets and specialized stores. It is easier to find in large cities and tourist towns, but it can also be purchased in online grocery stores. However, if you want to cook with Garam masala, our recommendation is that you make your own mixture.
Our Garam masala recipe
Although we have already mentioned that the spices and their proportions vary depending on who prepares the Garam masala, this is the formula we use. You can use it as a starting point and adapt it to your liking by adding or removing ingredients, changing the quantities, etc.
We heat a pan over low heat and add all the spices. We toast between five and ten minutes so that they release all their aroma and flavor, checking that they do not burn.
When this happens, we remove from the heat and grind in a mortar, with a spice or coffee grinder or even with a food processor. To keep it in good condition for months, we store it in an airtight container and protected from light and heat.
With these proportions a fairly balanced mix scored by Garam masala. Not too strong, not too mild, not too spicy and with all the flavors and aromas of the spices present. None stands out above the others.
You can prepare a large quantity of Garam masala and use it whenever you want. However, in order to better appreciate its flavor and aroma, the ideal is do it at the moment to season the dish. That is, grind, grate or crush each spice as we cook.
Making Garam masala at home pays off (and a lot)
There are three essential reasons why it pays to make Garam masala at home:
The cost. Garam masala is a mixture that usually comes in small quantities and at a high price. It is cheaper to do it ourselves since for the same price we will have more quantity.
Freshness. The power of flavor and aroma of a spice that has been ground for a long time cannot be compared to that of a freshly ground one.
Flavor. As there is no official Garam masala recipe, making it at home allows us to customize the mix and adapt it according to our tastes, preferences and even changing the proportions depending on the dish to be used.
How to use the Garam masala
There are many preparations to which Garam masala can be added, but it is usually used to finish curry dishes, meats, soups, stews and recipes with vegetables. There are also legume dishes such as lentils and chickpeas and the flavor it provides in hot chocolate, spicy nuts, as well as cookies is very interesting.
Unlike other spices the Garam masala it is usually added at the end of cooking. You can add it to a vegetable and chicken stew, for example, when it is about to finish cooking. Five minutes before turning off the heat and serving, add the Garam masala. With this, its flavors and aromas are preserved more intense because they are not completely diluted and the flavor of the dish is more powerful.
Seven recipes in which to use Garam masala
The Garam masala is a very versatile spice mix And that it is good to have on hand at home to add to our dishes from time to time and experience new sensations and flavors. Here are seven recipes to try it on.
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