Garam Masala

I just started watching Chef’s table as I was writing this entry. I am just on my first episode but there are people who are passionate about food and then there are foodies.  The passionate ones live, sleep, breathe food, and well they are also the ones who are too busy feeding others that they forget to eat.  They usually tend to end up with a bowl or simple noodles or a PB&J sandwich.  As I am watching this show and how the chef describes cooking with his grandmother, who reminds me of the days when I shared the kitchen space with my grandmother.  How we used to pick up live crabs from the market and I would be terrified of them crawling in the sink.  From her I have learned the most about seafood, how to butcher a crab or to tear open a catfish.  Once we found a baby fish in another fish, such things in life make it interesting.  Sure cooking alone in your kitchen is relaxing but sharing it and making memories is another thing.  These days I feel like those who are called “foodies” are that of just food snobs, the real food lovers will enjoy a carrot in any form and it doesn’t have to be turned in to dust or foam.  Well I am totally deviating from the recipe that I am going to write in this entry, but as I am watching this TV series on Netflix it makes you wonder how a chef thinks.  As I have started catering to mass audience and starting a lunchbox service I have realized how difficult and tiring it is, but at the same time it is exhilarating to be cooking and serving people.

The one thing that I miss the most is the ability to experiment with different foods; it is also saddening to see that Indians here in the area are not very open with their food.  They tend to just gravitate towards either chicken tikkas or dosa, even when India has evolved so much in the culinary scene.  We over here seem to find comfort in the foods that we remember from back home.  Maybe we feel that if the cuisine is changed or if we started eating modern Indian food we might lose our tradition or culture.  I will write more about the food scene here locally to me in the North Carolina region, but today I would like to share a recipe of the most essential ingredient in an Indian kitchen – Garam Masala.  Garam which means hot is a warming spice mix that you will find in all Indian kitchens.   You can buy it from a store, or you can make it on your own.  Each household has their own garam masala recipe, the ingredient list is long but all ingredients are found in the Indian store here.  So if you want to make this at home here are the ingredients and here is a great link gives you more information on each of these spices.

Garam Masala

Ingredients

  • 800 gm Whole coriander seeds
  • 250 gm Whole cumin seeds
  • 200 gm Fennel seeds
  • 80 gm Black pepper
  • 25 gm Cloves
  • 50 gm Green cardamom
  • 40 gm Star anise
  • 40 gm Cinnamon
  • 40 gm Mace
  • 7 Whole nutmegs
  • 20 gm Stone flower (dagad phool)
  • 10 gm Bay leaf
  • 30 gm Black cardamom

Method –

The process is pretty simple; this recipe will make a lot of garam masala so scale it down if you don’t want to make a lot of it.  But this gives you an idea of how much of what you need in the mix, the whole mixture highly rides on coriander.

So take it all and roast it, you can roast it all together but have to be very careful to roast it evenly or you can roast it individually and then grind it all together.  If you like whole spices in your food than don’t sift it after grinding it, we did as I don’t like whole spices in my mouth.  So mix it up and it will stay in your pantry for a good month or two.  If any longer then I would suggest either freezing it or keeping it in the fridge, some of the ingredients have high oil content and can go rancid.  Hope you guys mix it up a little and make your own version of it and that this helps you with a base of what garam masala holds.

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