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Spices: What is Garam Masala? | How to Make Garam Masala

A Note on Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a mixture of spices, and the combinations vary with each household. It is basically Persian in origin, but is now indispensable in North Indian cuisine. “Garam” means “hot” and “Masala” means “spices”, so the mixture of spices are traditionally those that heat the body according to the ayurvedic system of medicine. They are all very aromatic as well. Commercial mixtures often cut down on the more expensive cardamom and fill up with the cheaper coriander and cumin. So, if you can, make your own (see below).

Generally, but not always, Garam Masala is sprinkled over food towards the end of the cooking to retain its aroma. The garam masala spices can also be used whole.

Garam Masala Blends

Dry roast all ingredients separately in a kadhai, wok or frying pan. Mix together and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. When required, grind the whole masala to a fine powder in a spice grinder or mortar, and use as directed. Store in an airtight jar.



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About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.


9 thoughts on “Spices: What is Garam Masala? | How to Make Garam Masala

  1. I love how you have classified these mixes. I also did not know that garam masala is Persian in origin. Thanks for enlightening me.

    Posted by Aneela Mirchandani | 13 February, 2014, 07:51


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