The hot spice mix, Garam Masala, has been popular when cooking Indian food. But, look at how this has variations across homes, suitable for different items.
Punjabi kitchens are a hub of everything fiery--gossip, activity and spices. The wide variety in Punjabi cuisine is such that even the mildest dishes have a fave spice mix-- the garam masala. The name derives from all spices used in the blend are dry roasted on a heated tawa. Later, these are ground semi-finely to suit the taste.
Garam masala varies greatly across every Punjabi household. The combination and quantity of masala used in the spice mix change the final product's taste. Here are the top variants of garam masala with examples of widespread dishes you can use them in.
Made with a higher quantity of jeera that overpowers the dhania, saunf and elaichi ingredients, this version is used for dahi bhallas, chaats and tikkis on average Punjabi homes. The jaiphal and javitri are also small quantities to up the spicy taste. This is used in minimal amounts as a spice mix for chaat-based anything.
Up the saunf in the garam masala mix, and you get an achari style masala mix. This is best used in bhindi, dry potato preparations, and saute-style veggies. Stuffed veggies such as eggplant and water gourd too work well with this variant of garam masala. But, primarily, any veggie preparation that is tossed and fried finds awesomeness with this final garnish of garam masala in an achari avatar.
Garam masala for the gravies use more green cardamom and go low on the jaiphal and javitri. However, this masala is also used in teeny bits across all pulao doses across Punjabi homes. The USP of this version of the garam masala is that the mix does not hit the tongue directly as it hits the nose.
Suppose you are looking for a masala to use in non-vegetarian dishes or items that need an excellent roast mix before being served. In that case, this essential garam masala high on dhania proportion is a must-have at home. This garam masala is rich in taste and has a slightly coarse texture. Overuse can make the entire dish bitter, but this garam masala mix can work wonders when used cleverly.
It might be a fact that garam masala is readily available from many brands. However, once you get the hang of collating raw spices, bringing them together in varied proportions, you will never go in for store-bought varieties ever again.
Satarupa B. Kaur has been writing professionally for a decade now. But, always on the go, she loves to travel, books, playtime with her toddler as she explores new places and food!