You won’t find an Indian kitchen without this flavourful, universally-loved blend of India spices that has carved a niche for itself by offering a new texture, flavour and taste. Name a recipe and you can use garam masala in it. It is one of the most loved spices blend, not just in India, but across the globe. Whether you are cooking Indian curries or lentils or chicken dishes or fish curries, garam masala will make the food item more delectable and appetizing. All you need to do is to add a pinch of garam masala in all the recipes and just witness the magic happening.
Well, we are done with the appreciation here. How about digging more about this spice by going back to its origin and history? Don’t you think you should know a bit about the most favourite blend of spices you always hunt in an Indian grocery store? Let’s dive in!
What is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is nothing but the finest blend of different spices that are mixed to give a new flavour and texture to any dishes. Now which spices to add in the making of garam masala might vary depending on the region? Mostly, garam masala contains spices such as black pepper, white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, made, cardamom, bay leaves and cumin.
Cumin and black pepper are mostly found in all the garam masala blends across the globe. Some might add herbs too. It depends on the local usage of spices and herbs and they have their version of garam masala.
If you are making garam masala at home, you can add some more spices or subtract any spices mentioned before. For people with indigestion and stomach cramps, using garam masala regularly in cooking might bring some troubles. You can make your customized version of this blend as per your taste and availability of spices.
The history of garam masala
North India is considered the origin of this popular Indian blend of spices It is a warming blend and offers comfort too. It seems the perfect reason for this creation. If you translate garam masala in English, it means “Hot Spice”. It is believed that it was created to make people warm, who live in colder areas.
It was garam masala and other Indian spices that attracted foreigners to India in the early 17th and 18th centuries. They were so popular in Europe and other areas of the world and Indian businessmen used to export spices and herbs to foreign markets. Even the British came to India for the business only and then the colonisation started.
One of the main advantages of garam masala is it speeds up your metabolism, which, in turn, increases your body temperature. So, in cold winters in North India, this hot blend of India spices was traditionally used to keep people warm. With time, explorers and travelers started taking this blend in their regions and added or removed ingredients and made their customized versions of garam masala. There is a large number of varieties you can find in garam masala.
Furthermore, Indian migrants who travelled and settled across the globe, are also considered the flag bearers of these spices as they carried with them their recipes and made them popular in foreign countries. Earlier, they used them on their food recipes and eventually. It spread like fire and nowadays, even foreign cooks use them in their recipes including curries, meat dishes, fish items and desserts and cocktails.
Garam masala today
Visit any Indian grocery store anywhere in the world and you will find garam masala at the spices counter. Even supermarkets and other grocery stores too stock garam masala as they know the value of it. It can be used in any Indian or foreign recipe and will take the taste and flavour to the next level.
Furthermore, the shelf life of this blend is very long and you can buy in bulk too. All you need to do is to store it in a cool and dry place and that is it.
Also, as mentioned earlier, you can make your version of garam masala as per your spice preferences and choices. If you don’t want to make it at home, you can just visit any Indian grocery store and buy garam masala from the authentic and genuine brand. Check out the ingredients on the label if you are uncomfortable with certain spices such as cumin, black pepper or cardamom. Choose garam masala packet which is free of these ingredients.
Almost all the cultures in the world have wholeheartedly accepted Indian spices and their blends, especially garam masala as it is one of the kind blends to use in recipes. Its metabolism-boosting properties make it a unique spice. It is the best staple to have in your kitchen.
Garam masala, one of the most used and popular blends of spices, has certainly created a benchmark. A fine blend of spices, all you need to do is to use in recipes and enjoy the unparalleled and delicious taste.