As a foodie and bollywood lover, I figured I wanted to combine my two favorite loves in this blog. And what could be more of an auspicious start to this blog than an entry begining with Garam Masala? The name literally means "hot spice", and alludes not as much to heat, but more to the spiciness its addition creates to a dish. The smell of this spice take me back to the memories of my hometown's narrow streets and gullies (a very narrow streeet common in small towns, barely enough for two peopleto walk down, side by side). These are more than 50 recipes for this spice mix, which vary by region, community and family, and spice ratio is based on personal preference. Here is my version:
Simple Garam Masala
1.5 Tbs black peppercorns
3/4 Tbs black cumin seeds (kala jeera)
1.5 tsp whole cloves
1 tbs green cardomom seeds (discard the husk/casing)
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 star anise
Place a flat pan on medium-low heat and scatter all the whole spices on it. Toss frequently. Be careful not to burn the spices- toss frequently and once the spices become fragrant, turn off the heat and let cool on the pan itself. Grind the spice mix to a fine powder using a a coffee or spice grinder. Store in a tightly lidded small jar.
The spice mix stay fresh if kept in a air tight container. You can always change the ratio of spices to suit your taste.