Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Garam Masala

Last night I tried making Garam Masala. I needed it for Chicken Biriyani but there wasn't any at the store. I've been thinking about trying it for a while - I know fresh ground spices are infinitely better than store-bought spices that have been sitting around for who knows how long.

I wasn't prepared for how much better it was though. The spices smelled a little funny as they were toasting, but once I started grinding them up the whole house was filled with an amazing smell. It was incredibly easy though. I definitely recommend trying this if you can find all the ingredients!

Garam Masala
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 rounded Tablespoon green cardamom pods
1 rounded Tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 whole dried red chile
1/8 teaspoon ground mace (I wasn't able to find mace so I replaced it with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)

Combine everything but the nutmeg in a frying pan or wok and toast dry over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until cumin turns brown (about 4-5 minutes). Put everything into a spice blender (I used my coffee grinder which worked fine except I had to split it into two batches) and grind until it turns to a fine powder. Stir in mace or nutmeg and store in an airtight container. This recipe made about 1/2 a cup of ground spice.

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