Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garam Masala

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I did have more "traditional" food like burgers and pasta salad and kebabs but my sister and I also spent a whole day making a huge Indian feast. Many curry recipes call for a spice mixture called garam masala. You can buy some already blended (like from McCormick) but we decided to make our own. In Hindi, "garam" means "hot" and "masala" means "mixture." It's a blend of ground spices that's common in Indian cooking and the ratio of spices varies from household to household. It's easy enough to blend in a spice grinder, if you have one. Or you can cheat and use pre-ground spices like I did.

What you'll need:
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

The amount of cayenne pepper you use will dictate how spicy your garam masala is so you can adjust the amount to your liking. And you'll notice that everything is in teaspoons but if you want to make a huge amount, the ratio is fairly simple so you can adjust it how you like; double it or change it to tablespoons, what have you.
It took a lot of turns on the pepper grinder, but I did manage to get 2 tsp of coarse black pepper. Then I just dumped in the rest of the spices and gave it a quick whisk to combine.
To store the spices, I put them in a little glass jar, which I got from Ikea ($1 each), to keep them fresh.

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