Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hot spices

Garam Masala means hot (Garam) spice (Masala) is not an spice in itself. It is a powder used throughout India and the rest of the world.
It solely depends on the region and personal tastes that people make this powder. It is unique to various cultures and this has a huge demand in the world market.
The basic ingredients are:

30 green cardamom pods
15 cloves
5 black cardamom pods
4 pieces cinnamon
5 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds (shown here in powder form)
1 tbsp fennel seeds (optional)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)

Place all these spices in a hallow bottom pan or skillet and heat over a very low heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the aroma from the spices begins, remove the pan from the heat (make sure not to over brown them). This step is to release the aromatic oils from the spices.
Working with only a small quantity at a time, put the spices in an electric blender to grind it to a fine powder. Remove the cardamom pod skins. Allow to cool.
Store the Garam Masala in an air-tight container. As long as the container is tightly closed after each use, it should last for a long time.

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