April 13, 2019

Garam masala is often included in Indian meat and vegetable dishes. Let’s say the other word for garam masala be “ the basic spice” or “the everyday spice”. It can be used on its own or combined with other seasonings. Garam masala is a mix of ground spices that are usually toasted to draw out their aroma and flavor. In the southern part of India, garam masala is often combined with water, coconut milk or vinegar to form a paste. Northern Indian cuisines usually use the powder form of garam masala.

The ingredients of garam masala differ according to the individual preferences of the person preparing it and the region. For instance, expect the garam masala to be hot as red chili is likely to be part of the mix. The spices change based on what’s common in the region. In the northern part of India, look forward to the sweet and aromatic of the garam masala. They mostly focus on sweet and fragrant spices and often have only black pepper, so their garam masala is quite mild. Garammasala adds a distinct flavor to the dish. It being mild in taste it just adds flavors and does not make the dish too spicy. The spices that are used to prepare garam masala has its own health benefits. One can easily make their own garam masala in their own kitchen. It just needs the correct spices and the correct amount of it.

There is always a diversity in spices.The spices used in the mix all have a range of health benefits, here they are:

  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Some of the ingredients like pepper, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom are known to lower bad cholesterol levels.Cinnamon is great for people with type-2 diabetes as it lowers sugar levels. It also gives you calcium and is beneficial for a great memory and heart health and has anti-cancer properties as well. Coriander also has blood cholesterol and blood sugar level-lowering properties.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Cumin, one of the most important ingredients of garam masala, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It improves digestion, regulates your heart rate and ups your metabolism.Cumin is also rich in iron and gets low haemoglobin levels back on track.

  • Good for teeth

Cloves are considered a great panacea for tooth problems in Ayurveda. They reduce toothache and decay. Cloves are also great antioxidants and have calcium, vitamins, and omega 6 fatty acids.

  • Slows down ageing

Many of the ingredients in garam masala, like cinnamon, pepper and cumin slow down the ageing process. They also have cancer-fighting properties and black pepper can help keep your weight down too by curbing your appetite and boosting your metabolism. Pepper is also good for your skin.

What Garam Masala Contains

Garam masala usually includes cassia or cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, and cloves. Variations of garam masala may include saffron, ginger, fennel seeds, turmeric, mace, bay leaves, mustard seeds, star anise, seeds, tamarind, garlic, dried red chili, fenugreek or Malabar leaves. If you’re buying garam masala, you should read the ingredients first to identify the spices included in it. 

Garam masala adds sweetness, warmth and floral notes to foods. It’s made to be a flavorful and fragrant spice. Garam masala is usually not fiery hot. It’s usually added to food near the end of cooking. This way, it makes the food more fragrant and flavorful. You may also sprinkle the spice on top of a dish. Garam masala can be used with fish, meat and vegetable dishes. Read more about the benefits of some of the ingredients used in garam masala

How to Make Your Own Garam Masala

Garam masala can be found in the international section or spice section of a well-stocked store. If you want to buy garam masala, you can go to an international specialty shop or Indian grocery. Using whole seeds will make your garam masala more flavorful and fragrant. You can use two tablespoons of cardamom seeds, three tablespoons of coriander seeds, two tablespoons of black peppercorns, one whole cinnamon stick, two tablespoons of cumin seeds, one teaspoon of whole cloves and one teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.

Toast the cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, and cardamom for about ten minutes over medium-high heat. Stir the spices from time to time to cook them evenly. When the spices are giving off a rich, toasty scent and have darkened slightly, you should remove it from the skillet and let it cool. Grind it in a coffee grinder or spice grinder. Grate the nutmeg and toss it into the mixture. Keep your garam masala in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place. Use the garam masala you’ve made as soon as possible because it loses potency rather quickly. You can use the garam masala for up to six months.

NY Spice Shop has plenty of best quality spices and herbs that you can use to make your own garam masala. The store also offers dried fruits, herbal teas, nuts and seeds, and snacks.

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