null Skip to main content
Spice up your recipes: Creative cooking with Garam Masala

Spice up your recipes: Creative cooking with Garam Masala

Posted by Suryamasale on 28th Mar 2024

Garam masala, a blend of ground spices rooted in the heart of Indian culinary tradition, elevates the flavours of most of the Indian dishes. Garam masala is an aromatic combination of few Indian spices. Whether toasted and ground, this spice blend enriches curries, stews, soups, and rice dishes. There isn't a single "correct" blend of garam masala, and different households and regions may have their own variations of this spice mix. Some of the basic Indian ingredients used in garam masala are :

  • Cinnamon: adds a sweet and a warm flavour
  • Cardamom: adds a floral and citrusy aroma
  • Clove: imparts a string, sweet and pungent flavour
  • Cumin: adds an earthy and nutty taste
  • Coriander : adds a citrusy and slightly sweet note
  • Black pepper: for heat and pungency
  • Bay leaves: Infuse a subtle fragrance

Garam masala is not limited to addition of only the above spices, fennel seeds, star anise, amchur or mango powder, fenugreek leaves, ginger powder or nutmeg may also be added. The spices are typically toasted to enhance their flavours and ground into a fine powder. Proportions of each spice varies with personal preference, region and/ or the manufacturer.

Garam masala provides a blast of flavour to every dish it is added to. It is a staple in Indian cuisine and is used to impart warmth, depth and aroma.

Some everyday uses of garam masala in Indian cooking include:

  • Curries:

Many Indian curries, vegetarian or meat based include garam masala as a key ingredient. It enhance the flavour of the sauce.

  • Rice dishes:
  • it is frequently added to biryanis and pulao, it provides a fragrant backdrop to the other ingredients.
  • Soups and Shorbas:

It adds warmth to Indian soups and shorbas like those of tomato and palak (spinach).

  • Dal/ Lentils:

Garam masala when added to dal enhance the flavour profile.

  • Roasted and sauteed vegetables:

a sprinkle of garam masala can elevate the dish, bringing out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and adding a layer of aromatic spiciness.

  • Snacks:

Indian dry namkeen and roasted nuts are seasoned with garam masala for a delightful twist. It works well when added to mathri masala as well.

  • Tandoori dishes:

Garam masala elevates any marinade and brings a depth to the dish.

  • Raita:

When added to raita or dahi Bhalla like dishes, garam masala adds to the overall flavour of the dish.

  • Chaat:

Indian chaats are incomplete with a dash of garam masala.

Garam masala, with its warm and aromatic flavors, can be creatively incorporated into a variety of dishes to add a unique twist. Here are some creative ideas as to when it can be used to enhance the taste of some dishes:

  • Frankie rolls:

Garam masala when added to its filling or sprinkled in the rolls adds a unique taste to the frankie roll.

  • Desi Chinese:

Garam masala is very commonly added to our favourite desi Chinese dishes, like chowmein or Indian version of spring rolls which are cherished by all.

  • Masala bread loaf:

Bread loafs where the dough is mixed with garlic, spices and garam masala make a great chai time snack!

  • Chai:

A version of tea where garam masala is added to it is also very famous amongst Indians for its spiciness and warmth.

  • Street style pasta:

We are all fans of street style pasta, it is garam masala which gives it the magical touch.

  • Garam masala infused hummus:

This dip is a beautiful addition to mathri, samosas or any other Indian snack!

  • Tandoori fruit chaat:

Garam masala gives a spiciness to tandoori pineapple, tandoori watermelon etc.

  • Indian pita pockets:

Make a filling of chickpea/ paneer or chicken with Indian spices and garam masala mix and stuff into the pita pockets for a fusion dish. Enjoy with a yogurt dip.

  • Creative salads:

Mix garam masala into salad dressings for an Indian touch. It works well with both citrus and yogurt-based sauces.

  • Exotic beverages:

Add a pinch of garam masala to your hot chocolates for a spicy flavour, and to cocktails to enhance the taste.

  • Apple pies:

Garam masala works beautifully when added to traditional apple pies.

The use of garam masala ranges from region to region and household to household. Some may add it at the beginning of the dish, while some may use it as a finishing touch. It is a versatile spice mix, which is indispensable in Indian kitchens.

The possibilities of using garam masala are endless, it brings flavour and spiciness and nutty taste to almost every dish it is added, enhancing the experience of the dish. Its ability to balance sweet, spicy, and aromatic notes makes it a culinary powerhouse. It gives a homely and comforting feel to all delicacies it is added to, bringing a feeling of cultural connection and family cultural traditions.

Garam masala adds a culinary magic, turning ordinary meal into an extraordinary dining experience.

Chat on WhatsApp