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Garam Masala

Cookbook

American Masala

Published by Clarkson Potter

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Garam masala is the Indian equivalent of French herbes de Provence or Chinese five-spice powder. The recipe changes from region to region within northern India and can be varied according to whim. Here, rosebuds (found in Indian or Middle Eastern markets) add an exciting floral note, but you can substitute black cardamom, fennel seeds (in the style of Kashmir), or a teaspoon of royal cumin (shahi or kala zeera, also found in Indian markets)-or just eliminate the roses altogether. Once you taste the difference that this simple powder makes in your cooking, you will find it worth the investment of cupboard space. As a rule (one that certainly gets broken at times), Garam Masala is only added at the last step of cooking, almost like a fresh herb, because it tends to become bitter if cooked too long.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentspice grinder

Taste and Texturespiced

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dried miniature rosebuds (optional)
  • A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 dried red chile
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace

Instructions

  1. If the roses have stems, break them off and discard. Heat the roses with the cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns, doves, and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2½ to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

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