Garam Masala - A Blend of Hot Spices
What is Garam Masala?
Etymology and Origin.
Garam Masala literally translates from Hindi as hot spices. It is arguably the commonest of spice blend that one may come across in an Indian Kitchen. It is the singular mixture of selective spices which imparts its distinctive flavor and aroma to a host of preparations to grace an Kitchens of India. The particular spice blend is so named because the spices which are selected to make the blend, have a tendency to elevate the temperature of the body. A particular characteristic which finds extensive application in Aurvedic medication.
Why Homemade Garam Masala?
- Preservation of Taste and Nutrients.
- The Precise Opening of the Flavor Pockets of the Spices through Dry Roasting.
The spice blend is commercially available in the market through a number of manufacturers. The ingredient section on the packaging is reliable source of information about the constituents of the spice mixture.
Yet the industrial processing of the spices depletes them of their flavor and aroma. Hence it is recommended by professional chefs and kitchen stalwarts alike to mix and grind the assortment of spices in the comforts of one’s own home. Thus the taste and medicinal benefits on offer from each individual spice is maximized.
It is also recommended to dry heat the whole spices on a pan before grinding them. The dry heating process roasts the spices and opens up the flavor pockets in the spices, thus enhancing the taste of the final mixture. Care must be taken in not to over heat the spices as that would destroy the flavor pockets. Moreover the flavor of the spices are best experienced when they are ground to a coarse texture and not crushed into a fine mix. Fine grinding the spices results in destruction of the flavor pockets, which eventually depletes the taste of the mix.
Also Read: The Nutritional Benefits of Cinnamon
Which Spices to Add?
Constituents of Garam Masala:
The spices which one may add to their GaramMasala mix are listed below. There is however no hard and fast rule. One may choose a combination of spice as per experience in taste and availability of certain spice. Although adding all the below mentioned ingredient together would add that extra punch to your Garam Masala mix. Punjab region in the Indian sub-continent is home to this particular blend.
- Cinnamon sticks
- Black Cardamom pods
- Green Cardamom pods
- Black Pepper
- White Pepper
- Whole Coriander seeds
- Whole Cumin seeds
- Nutmeg or Mace
- Dry Ginger
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