What is garam masala?
Garam masala is an Indian spice mix that is used in almost every dish made in any house in India. Garam masala is like a quintessential part of an Indian kitchen. Literally, ”garam” means hot, and ”masala” means a mix.
Thus, garam masala refers to a mix that is ”hot”. The hotness is an attribute of the garam masala that describes the two main characteristics of the garam masala:
- It heats the body.
- It also increases the metabolism of the body.
Thus, garam masala also has innumerable health benefits. This masala is a blend of different Indian spices that have extraordinary health benefits. Naturally, their mixture also comes to possess these great qualities.
What does garam masala taste like?
This is a very tricky question. The most straightforward answer would be that garam masala tastes like everything that makes it. It has the innate hotness of the black pepper, the fragrance of the cinnamon sticks, the aroma of the cardamom, and all the other attributes of its ingredients that make up the taste and fragrance of the garam masala.
This makes the garam masala an essential ingredient for any recipe as it provides a very spicy, tangy, aromatic, warm, and sweet taste generally. This already dynamic taste takes a new turn in the recipe to which it is added to. It provides a different flavour in every dish.
Thus, you can add this to every, I repeat, every single recipe in this universe, and it will make the dish 100 times delicious.
Ingredients used in garam masala:
The famous ingredients that are mixed to make this epic spice mix are:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Bay leaf
- Cumin seeds
- Black peppercorns
- Coriander seeds
Time-saving and Simple substitutes of garam masala:
Now, everything is perfect. You are using garam masala in every dish and are savouring in its taste. But, somehow, one day, you open the box in which you use to store it, and nothing comes out. Your garam masala has finished.
Now, you are having a party in less than an hour, and you are in dire need of garam masala (this is not a fake story, it happens in my home all the time), so what do we do now!!
Sometimes, you have enough time to make it but are short of some key ingredients, and you need a garam masala substitute.
To help you in this situation, I have come to your rescue. Here are some pretty simple garam masala substitutes that you can use when you don’t have garam masala supplies in your house:
- Curry Powder:
Curry powder works just fine in place of garam masala, and it provides you with the same flavour as that of the garam masala. However, its warmness can not be replicated by curry powder.
- Cumin mixed with All spices:
This is also another excellent substitute for garam masala if you are short on time. You have to mix 1 part cumin, and ¼ part of the allspice and the resultant mixture works wonders in place of it.
- Chaat Masala:
This is another one of India’s famous spice mix and has quite the opposite effect on the garam masala’s warming effect. The chaat masala is a cooling mix, but other than that provides the same taste as the garam masala.
- Put the items separately:
Another alternative for you is to put all the ingredients separately in the dish. This will allow you to get all the spices’ flavour and aroma, and the guests won’t miss the garam masala flavour that much.