Indian spice info

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient


The blending of spices is the essence of Indian cookery; to become a good Indian cook you must first become a good masalchi (spice blender). The word masala means a mixture of spices, but also refers to the aromatic composition of a dish. The Western notion of having a single masala or curry powder gives little real idea of Indian cooking since there are hundreds of masalas- from different regions, for different foods, and prepared to the taste of different cooks- imparting a distinctive flavor to each dish. The most common ground blends are garam masalas, used in northern cooking, and hotter masalas or curry powders from the south. They are usually made up as required, but will keep for 3-4 months in an airtight jar.

Curry powders In the hotter southern blends, chilies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, ground turmeric and fresh curry leaves are standard ingredients.

Garam masala Garam masala is the principal spice blend of north Indian cookery, and there are almost as many versions as there are cooks. A masala may be a simple blend of two or three spices and herbs: or it may contain a dozen or more. Some masalas, based on pepper and cloves, are quite fiery: others, using mace, cinnamon and cardamom, are aromatic.

Garam masala is always used sparingly. The spices are usually dry roasted, and may be added to the dish, whole or ground, at different stages during cooking. For pilafs, birianis and some meat dishes, the use of whole spices is traditional. For some grand Moghul dishes, dried rose petals are added to the basic mixture.

Per serving: 0 Calories; 0g Fat (0% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 0g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium Recipe by: Ron West

Posted to Bakery-Shoppe Digest V1 #491 by Ron West <ronwest@...> on Jan 7, 1998

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