Looking for healthy ways to spice up dinner tonight?
Try adding a little garam masala to your next entree. “Garam Masala” is a Hindi term that refers to a blend of a few different spices commonly used in Indian cooking. Literally translated, garam means “hot” and masala means “spice blend.” It should be noted that it’s not hot sauce hot, it’s more about the Ayurvedic process of heating the body with the use of specific warming spices.
According to Ayurveda, garam masala aids the body by providing the heat necessary for a healthy metabolism, lowering blood sugar levels, while also aiding with healthy digestion and detoxification.
Similar to your Mom’s secret sauce, there’s no one recipe for garam masala, it differs depending on the region of India the recipe comes from. I can recall watching my Mom make her secret blend, scenting the entire house with these beautifully fragrant and aromatic spices as she dry-roasted them.
My Fav Garam Masala Recipe:
- 2 tsp. of whole cumin seeds (jeera)
- 4 tsp. of whole coriander seeds (daniya)
- 2 pods of green cardamom seeds (elaichi)
- 1/2 tsp. of black peppercorns (kaalee mirch ke daane)
- 1 tsp. of whole cloves (laung)
- 1 tsp. of fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 mace skin
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 nutmeg
- 1 stick of cinnamon (go for real or ceylon cinnamon)
- Clean all the spices, checking for debris and stones.
- Dry spices with a damp cloth.
- Measure all spices and keep them in a bowl, except for the cinnamon stick.
- In a small pan, heat all the whole spices for 2 to 3 minutes.
- After spices are toasted, turn the heat off and let them cool.
- Add all the spices into a spice grinder, including the cinnamon.
- Once the spice mixture is blended, run it through a sieve.
Traditionally, the seeds and spices are toasted separately, ground and then mixed together. Don’t worry though, if you are short on time, go ahead and just mix all the ground spices together.
Note: The shelf life for garam masala tends to be 2-3 months, as ground spices are known to lose their flavor and aroma if kept for too long. Try making the spice blend in small batches to ensure freshness, storing it in an airtight, moisture-free glass bottle.