My star ingredient: Garam masala

Garam masala is an intoxicatingly aromatic spice blend commonly used in Indian cooking. It’s typically used like a seasoning at the end of cooking just like we might season with salt and pepper. It could also be used as a rub for meat and fish, in a marinade with yoghurt, in a spiced vegetable soup or, less conventionally, in a slaw dressing.

There are many regional variations of this spice blend, which might also be tailored to suit a meat, fish or vegetable dish, and even secret family recipes.

Typical ingredients include cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Cinnamon adds warmth and sweetness, peppercorns add heat, coriander and fennel add a floral flavour and cumin provides an earthiness.

Toasting the spices before they are ground is important for bringing out the flavour of each of the spices and for removing moisture. It’s well worth the small amount of effort needed to make your own as the flavour is so much better than most bought spice mixes. Don’t make or buy too much, however, as it loses its freshness and fragrance quickly.

Why not try making your own using my recipe?

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