Garam masala translates from Hindi to “hot spice blend.” If Indian spices had a national anthem, it would be this universally-loved blend!
Garam masala literally means “hot spice.” It is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings.
The word garam refers to “heating the body” in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, as these spices are believed to elevate body temperature in Ayurvedic medicine.
This blend is particularly popular in North Indian cuisine. “Garam” is the “hot” in “hot spice blend,” though this refers to the pungency of the mixture as opposed to the heat from cayenne pepper. Bitter, hot spices such as black pepper, black cardamom, cloves, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin make up the bulk of the blend. Of course, like all spice blends, everyone, everyone, takes liberties. This SpiceJungle blend is a pretty representative experience of garam masala, using beyond-good ingredients.
Originating from India, the composition of garam masala differs a lot, not only regionally, but familially, with many recipes across India being created according to regional and personal taste. None is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.
Since garam masala’s taste is synonymous with curries, and other southeast Asian dishes where it’s front-and-center, I take that approach with it.
If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’re no stranger to garam masala. This well-known spice mix is the hallmark of many Indian an Asian dishes. Whether it’s mixed in with coconut milk, or dry on its own, there is no wrong way to use garam masala.
You can find out here how to make your own. If you don’t want to, you can get top quality from our friends at SpiceJungle.