Saturday, June 7, 2008
Garam Masala ( கரம் மசாலா )
Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in the Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cuisine, whose literal meaning is 'hot (or warm) spice'.
Many commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, star anise and fennel. While commercial garam masala preparations can be bought ready ground, it does not keep well, and soon loses its aroma. Whole spices, which keep fresh much longer, can be ground when needed using a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder.
Garam masala is used in cooking, but unlike many spices, it is often added at the end of cooking, so that the full aroma is not lost. It is not 'hot' in the sense that chillis are, but is fairly pungent. Garam refers to temperature hot, where the word teekha describes the heat of chillis.