Sunday, July 08, 2007

DIY: Garam Masala

It’s pouring rain outside and I am sipping hot spiced chai and enjoying the sumptuous aroma of a freshly made batch of garam masala. My house hasn’t smelt this good since a little village of scented candles I had in my fireplace caught fire and burned up in one glorious, scorching hot blaze.

I received Christmas early this year when my spice order from Philippe de Vienne arrived last week: vanilla beans, fenugreek leaves, tonka beans, coriander, and everything I needed to make garam masala. I use Vij’s recipe for this variable Indian spice blend and it includes cinnamon, black cardamom, cloves, cumin, mace and nutmeg. It’s an absolutely intoxicating combination, especially if fresh whole spices are used, and an integral part of Indian cuisine. I’m on a bit of an Indian kick these days and it’s possible I may soon be sharing some recipes that include garam masala.
So you may want to pick up the ingredients and make a batch of your own.

Your house will never smell the same...


Clockwise from top: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Cardamom, Cumin, Cloves, and Mace.

Garam Masala

1 heaping teaspoon whole cloves
1 ½ teaspoon black cardamom seeds (about 10 whole pods)
6 heaping tablespoons cumin seed
1 tablespoon pounded cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat cloves, black cardamom seeds, cumin, and cinnamon on medium to high heat, stirring constantly. When the cumin seeds become a darker shade of brown, remove from stove. Transfer the roasted spices to a bowl and cool for 20 minutes.
Place roasted spices, mace and nutmeg in a spice (or coffee) grinder and grind until the mixture has the consistency of store-bought ground black pepper. May be used right away. Will also keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Makes ¾ cup

Recipe courtesy of "Vij's Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine"

Ed Note: This is my one hundredth post. Yay! Cheers, everyone!

8 comments:

Sandy said...

Hi Aimee, I am so intrigued by your spice order. Christmas in July sound wonderful! I can't wait to see some recipes using the garam masala (I love Indian food), and other interesting spices you use.

lynn said...

That sounds fabulous. I love the idea of opening a box filled with exotic spices. What fun!

Happy 100th post!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I can smell it right now just looking at the pics. My lovely sister in law is Indian and though I've always loved Indian food having home cooked Indian food is just the best. Yummy! Look forward to reading more about what you do with your garam masala.

Nora B. said...

Aimée, a few things....
- I love spiced chai. I haven't made my own since I found a very good brand.
- Your photos looks great and I can imagine the aroma of the masala.
- Congrats on your 100th post!!! I really enjoy visiting your blog. You've got a great sense of humour.
I hope that you are having a wonderful week.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

and I forgot Happy 100th post.

gilly said...

Wow, Aimee, what a fantastic spice delivery! I would curl up with a spiced chai right away! Thanks for the garam masala recipe - and congrats on post 100! Here's to the next 100!

Aimée said...

Hi Sandy- I hope it's not too long before I get cooking with them...I'm away on vacation right now!

Hi Lyne- Thanks! I think most foodies would take a present of spices any day of the week!

Hi Amanda- By the sounds of things, you probably have a good Indian recipe stash.

Hi Nora- Thanks so much! I'm having a pretty incredible week, so thanks for the well wishes.

Hi Gilly- Thanks! I am soooo excited about the next 100 posts and all that is in store for Under the High Chair!

notyet100 said...

Even I luv Garam masala as it adds zing to the curries,.

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