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Sunday, October 4, 2009

SpiceStop : Garam Masala

Garam masala, the heart and soul of Indian cooking, was all used up for Saturday's lunch, so I had to make a fresh batch ;p Garam means "hot" and masala "mixture" in hindi, and while there are also quite a number of garam masala recipes available, I found a new one which I thought would try - this uses black cardamom and black cumin.


black cardamom and black cumin

Unlike its green counterpart, the black cardamom has a smoky and almost mentholated flavor. The pretty intense taste is quite unique, and I have not actually used this much other than for the occasional curry.

Black cumin (cumin noir! or shah jeera) is sometimes confused with caraway, which is sometimes called the same thing in some places (don't ask me why). This has an extremely different taste from the usual cumin - quite bitter when raw, but it changes when cooked.

To make this batch I used :

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 ½ tsps black cumin seeds
4 tbsps whole coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 ½ tsps dried ginger
4 pods of black cardamom
10 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
10 pcs small dried bay leaves

Dry roast ingredients in a shallow pan over a medium fire, be careful not to burn. When the seeds have turned to a slightly darker color, take away from heat, let cool, then grind using a coffee/spice grinder. Place in an air tight container and keep in a dry place.

Fills half a recycled bottle of Doritos salsa - I suppose this spice mix is also 99% fat free!

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Scribe's Notes

This pitstop is where incoherent ramblings seem to have meaning, where things or events are thought of and assessed, where great things are documented and perhaps any not-so-good happenings are written down in attempt to be forgotten!

So from the diversely abstract to the intensely specific, it's off to making tracks, and it is here where it stops for a thought or two.

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