Smell the fragrant spices, close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market in Delhi. The colors, the merchants and oh the spices! One day, I shall make a culinary journey there and tell the tales.
For now, I will satisfy my senses and spice cupboard, by blending up my own version of Garam Masala, a mixture frequently used in many Indian dishes.
The blend usually includes cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper, but for this recipe I also added in some additional layers a flavor with toasted star anise and bay leaf. You can make a variety of curries, such as Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka and perfectly spiced, easy curry dishes.
When I lived in England, I quickly became spoiled and addicted to curry nights. Oh my, the food was incredible and of course being with great company made it even more memorable. I tried so many different curry dishes, but was never brave enough to set my mouth on fire with that wickedly, spicy Vindaloo. My cowardly palate usually settled in quite comfortably with a spicy yet the merciful, Rogan Josh.
The name when going back to it’s meaning says it all, garam meaning – hot or heat, pungent + masala meaning – spice. A pungent spice. Before I knew what masala meant, I would refer to it as a garam masala spice. Big oh no more in my book. Well seriously, that would be like saying “the la patisserie” – nope, just don’t.
I know that there are so many curry recipes waiting for you to add a good amount of this garam masala blend. It’s crazy simple to make and when you run out, you can make some up fresh, in about a few minutes. Easy peasy.
Recipes will come out of their flavor comfort zone when you give them a dash of your new favorite spice blend, garam masala.
Garam Masala Blend
Yield 1 /4 cup
Having your own blended Garam Masala on hand is easy to do and adds incredible flavor to Indian dishes.
- 2 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 dried Bay Leaves
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 tsp ground Cardamom
- 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground Cloves
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Tbls ground Coriander
- 1 tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground Fennel (optional)
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, gently toast the Peppercorns, Bay Leaves and Star Anise until fragrant, about 2 - 3 minutes (do not let burn). Cool.
- In a pestle and mortar or a spice or coffee grinder, pulse the Peppercorns, Bay and Star Anise until well ground.
- In a dry jar, add the toasted spices and the remaining ground spices. Put the lid on and give it a good shake and there you go, Garam Masala.
- Keeps for up to 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature.