India is known for its cuisines and exclusive regions of cooking. Garam Masala is a fragrant blend of dry ground spices common in India and parts of Asia. It is widely used in Punjabi and other North Indian cuisine in large amount to enhance the flavor of cooked food. This masala blend is known as the heart of Indian cuisine. It is an aromatic masala mixture used to enhance taste in cooked food. The meaning of the word Garam masala is ‘Hot Spice’ which means the intensity of the spice is very strong. Depending on the combination of spices, it can be, tan, or golden brown. It is earthy, sweet, and spicy in taste. The masala is available in a mixture of dry roasted spices or in the form of paste in the market.
Among the ingredients used in the spice many are widely used in the Western countries to make baking or desserts. Some common ingredients of Garam Masala are cloves, black pepper, white pepper, black cumin, mace, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, nutmeg, and coriander seeds. Garam Masala is mixed depending on cooking style and taste and is used in small amount while the process of cooking food.
Garam masala is obtainable as commercially prepared mixture. Various brands of Garam Masala can be purchased in at any local Indian market or in the ethnic food section of a grocery store or in World Market. You can now days there are plenty of online stores that sell spice online. It is available in packs of 100g, 400g, 1kg, 5kg etc. and there are various names, categories of Garam Masala mixture depending on the ingredients. If the spices remain packed for long, they tend to lose their aroma and essential oils. If you want to select you own Garam masala recipe, you can buy the specific ingredients and prepare the mixture at home. The stores made Garam Masala do not stand up to the home made ones but the convenience of readymade buying cannot be overlooked. While buying readymade Garam masala, take a note of the expiry date and if you feel lumpiness do not buy it. Drastic change of temperature and wrong packaging can affect properties of the spice mixture.
Garam Masala is a ‘kitchen cupboard essential’ if you are cooking Indian food. This masala is used by Indian cooks in small amount. It can be added at various stages of cooking for diverse degrees of flavor. It can also be released into hot oil to lend a spicy fried taste which is added along with the chief ingredient to lend an aroma. In Pakistan, Garam Masala is added in different types of ‘Pilau’. This masala mix is generally added to onion fried hot oil. There are few dishes in the West that call for curry powder which consists of Garam masala powder, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric mustard seeds and red chili powder. Garam Masala can be added to many dishes but to name a few Pav bhaji, Green Curry, Tandoori Masala, Biryani, Spinach dal, Butter chicken, Chicken Masala, Chicken Tikka, Chicken Moglai, Garam Masala Tofu Scramble,. Aloo dum, Aloo palak, Lamb Kebab, Palak paneer, Stuffed capsicum and more
- Garam masala is either added to curries, vegetable dishes or stews toward the completion of cooking process or sprinkled on as condiment over the dish just before serving
- Garam Masala is used in cuisine like chicken kurma, Roghan josh and dal makhani etc.
- Garam masala can be added to , chicken masala, season fish curry and in marinade for mutton.
For the best flavor, mix right amount of ingredients needed for the recipe. Once the spices are ground, the flavor starts to diminish so the freshly ground masala powder must be stored in a container that is tightly sealed and kept in a refrigerator. The same mixture must be used in a month so that the aroma and essentials oils are retained. The sooner you utilize, better the flavor. Always store keeping away from heat and sunlight. Do not preserve the masala paste in a freezer as it might become fungal.
Apart from enhancing taste of food, Garam Masala has medicinal properties also. All the spices used to make this masala have their respective medicinal properties and are used for making home remedies. ‘Garam masala mix of spices that keeps our body warm in winter and also cool in summer. All the spices have intrinsic qualities that boost digestion, stimulate secretion of enzymes, reduce inflammation, nutrient assimilation, and relieve pains. It also relaxes muscles of the body, eases mental stress, plays the role of an appetizer and helps curing cough and bronchitis.
Some other uses of the spices in the masala are:
- Cinnamon is an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredient. It promotes functionality of brain and controls blood sugar as natural insulin.
- Cumin is iron rich and helps in digestion and even fights against cancer.
- Coriander helps diabetic patients to control blood sugar level and lowers the cholesterol level in our bodies.
- Anise cures rheumatism
- Keeping clove inside the mouth relieves toothache and clove oil is good for swollen gums.
- Coriander is good for allergies and sore throat
Where to buy the vegetable in US
Garam Masala spice blend is a typically used for Indian cooking but you can also find the individual spice in the United States. You can always opt for online shopping if you want to get the authentic spice blend of Garam Masala in the U.S. This spice blend is also exported from India to the U.S market.
Nutrition and Dietary information
Garam masala contains valuable micronutrients. One ounce of the masala blend has approximately 215 milligrams of Calcium, 400 milligrams of Potassium, 9 milligrams of Iron and 1 milligram of Zinc. One table spoon of Garam Masala mix contains 2% fiber, Calories 6, carbohydrate 1gm, 3% Vitamin A and cal. from fat is 3.
|Servings Size||1 teaspoon (2 g)|
|Calories from Fat||3|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|