One of the crucial parts of any Nepalese cuisine is the “garam masala.” As the name refers, “garam” means hot, and “masala” means spices mix. Hence, this powder is a hot mixture of spices, and by “hot,” it does not refer to spicy but warm.
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Here, garam masala is a combination of warm spices powder that is often added to several dishes while preparing. Although there is one typical way of making authentic garam masala list, the spices mix may also vary from region to household.
Having said about the variations, the garam masala has a similar preparation process. It is traditionally made by lightly roasting the spices to get the aroma and grinding them to create a fine powder.
The Authentic Garam Masala Ingredients’ List
If you plan to create an authentic garam masala for your dish at home, you can add your batch of spices as per your choice to make freshness. This flavor-packed garam masala list will provide a balanced blend of your cuisines.
Also, it would help if you understood that there is no fixed way to create garam masala, and you can have your unique blend of spices.
Below is the standard base of spices you need to create an authentic garam masala.
Cloves are bud-like spices with intense aroma and flavor. Additionally, they are also known for their powerful heat in taste with slight bitter tones. Indeed, they are popular and used in multiple dishes such as meat, stews, soups, and so on.
Not only this, but cloves contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals and are also rich in antioxidants. However, you have to be careful not to use it excessively as it can cause inflammation.
Black Peppercorns (Marich)
They are dried spices that are dark red with a stone-like appearance. They contain a small ball inside them and are known for their pungent smell and smoky flavor.
These spices are typically used to make salads, sauces, pickles, etc. Also, high in antioxidants, these are known for their high medicinal values. However, its excess consumption may result in discomfort and stomach burn.
Green And Black Cardamoms (Sukmail)
One of the essential spices in a typical household, cardamom comes in pods, seeds, and ground form. They are known for their fruity and menthol-like flavor with a complex aroma.
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Also known as the “queen of spices,” cardamom goes pretty well with desserts and savory dishes. Additionally, this spice comes in two varieties, black and green. Well, the green cardamom is the true cardamom.
This particular herbal spice is quite popular to use to help digestion and boost the immune system.
It is one of the traditional spices that comes from the bark of some tree species. They are known for their warm and sweet flavor, and yes, they also have a strong aroma.
In most dishes, you can add the whole cinnamon stock for taste or aroma or even grind it to make a fine powder and add only a pinch.
Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
These are the base for any sort of garam masala. The particular flavor of this spice is slightly citric and sweet at the same time. Like other spices, these seeds also give a warm taste and mild aroma.
Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
The fennel seeds are tiny but highly aromatic with refreshing, sweet, intense flavor. Yes, they closely resemble the taste of anise and are mainly used for fresher breath, often after meals.
In the garam masala ingredients, this spice balances out the strong flavor of other herbs. As a fun fact, these spices are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, minerals, and fibers.
Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
Cumin seeds, like coriander seeds, are also the must-have spice when preparing garam masala. These seeds give a musky and tangy scent which is quite earthy and warm in flavor.
As a fun fact, cumin seeds are exceptionally rich in iron and resemble so much like caraway seeds.
Other Spices To Add In Garam Masalas
- Nutmeg and Mace (Jaiphal and Javitri): warm, woody, and sweet flavor with a spicy aroma.
- Dried Red Chilies (Raato Khursani): adds color and has a sharp, hot taste.
- Bay Leaves (Tej Patta): dried leaves with a sweet aroma.
- Star Anise: sweet, spicy, and warm flavor.
- Dried ginger and garlic
Home-Made Garam Masala Recipe List
As we discussed earlier, garam masala is a blend of all the spices mentioned above. All the herbs are initially roasted lightly and ground into a fine powder.
Now as you know all the needed ingredients, what quantity should you use them? If you search for an online recipe, you will find multiple directions and variations of the amount, as it eventually depends on one’s taste.
However, you should have a balanced blend of these spices.
- One tablespoon coriander seeds
- One tablespoon of white cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 bay leaves, roughly broken
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds
- 2-3 black cardamom
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- Salt (as per taste)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon dried ginger
- 1 tablespoon dried garlic
- Add all your spices to a skillet to toast under low heat. Stir them continuously until they get crispy and aromatic.
- Set them aside and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Now, grind all the toasted spices until they turn into fine powder. Make sure no big chunks are remaining.
- Then, store them in an airtight container and keep them away from direct heat.
Varieties Of Other Garam Masalas To Try
- Masala Tea Powder (made with cloves, green cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg)
- Sutkeri Garam Masala (made with fennel, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, ghee, sugar, edible resin, condensed milk, and any other dried fruits and nuts)
- Chana Masala (made with Kashmiri red chili, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, and black pepper)
- Chaat Masala (made with mango powder, cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper asafoetida, red chili powder, carom seeds, and mint)
- Tandoori Masala (made with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, ginger powder, garlic powder, bay leaf, Kasuri methi, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, and salt)
- Biryani Masala (made with bay leaf, fennel seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom, black peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, black cumin, cumin, star anise, and grated nutmeg)
Tips To Store Garam Masala For A Long Time
Below are some must-needed tips for storing garam masala for a long time.
Use Right Container
Choose the correct container that has the airtight condition. If you store your garam masala in a tight container, it helps preserve the aroma and quality for a more extended period.
Never keep your garam masala in direct sunlight, as it will spoil them quickly. Constantly search and store them in a cool, dry place without any moisture leakage. Additionally, do not store them above the stove as its heat will make them lose moisture, and it will take no time for them to go wrong.
Avoid Wet Spoons
It is a big mistake if you need garam masala and use a wet spoon to take them out of the container. Do not expose your garam masala to moisture, even with the slightest drop of water, as it might spoil them all.
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Hence, even if you are in a hurry, use a dry spoon. Also, if you have a wet spoon, wipe them before you dig it into the container.
Store Them In Refridgerator
A refrigerator is one of the ideal places to store your garam masala for longer. Well, yes, there is also no problem with freezing them.
It is often helpful if you have a massive batch of this masala. However, if you have a low quantity of this masala, it is better not to freeze them as the continuous exposure to different temperatures will spoil them.
Dispose of When Spoiled
If your garam masala is spoiled, there is no way of saving it, and you will have to discard it. Also, it is essential to know when the masala has gone wrong.
For this, always check its fragrance first. If they have a strong aroma, they are still usable; however, if they have little to no odor, you will have to discard them.