For a while now, I have been thinking of adding a section called ' How-To / Pantry Basics'. This section will serve as a reference for the cooking essentials, be it homemade ginger-garlic paste, making your own oat/quinoa flour or any spice blend.
The first of the series is 'garam masala'. Garam masala is a blend of spices ground finely that is widely used in indian cuisine. Several versions of garam masala exist with some consisting of dry ginger, nutmeg, fennel, etc. The spices are roasted and ground to bring out its flavors. So, here is my version.
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mixed peppercorns (1/2 tbsp each white & black peppercorns)
1 tsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (medium pieces)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp green cardamom pods (approx. 10 pieces)
2 dry red chillies
2 star anise
In a pan, on medium heat, dry roast all the ingredients for 6-8 mins until they turn slightly brown.
Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and use when required.
Note: This powder was used in the dhal makhani recipe.
Makes 1/2 cup.