Garam Masala originated somewhere in South Asia. This geographical region’s harsh winters motivated people to seek warmth even from their food, and they found help in a special spice mix. The word “Garam” literally means “hot,” therefore, Garam Masala means a hot spice mix.
However, Garam Masala is not always hot. As chef Ranveer Brar explains in this video, three types of ingredients go into Garam Masala. One, a masala base that is made up of coriander and cumin seeds. The other two types are aromatic spices, some earthy and some floral. Then comes the special touch according to the season.
The chef suggests that if you are making the masala during summer, use some fennel seeds to cool the body. During winter, add some extra nutmeg for warmth.
The roasting of the spices in a particular way is important too. According to the chef, while roasting spices, we should take care to roast only up to 70-80% and not all the way. The spices heat up again during the grinding process, and you don’t want to burn them.
We are fortunate to have chef Ranveer Brar tell us so much about a spice mix we use regularly but never really understand. This video is a great learning. Thank you, chef.
Video credit: ‘Chef Ranveer Brar’ Youtube channel.
If you want to make a more basic garam masala with fewer ingredients, please read my article: How To Make Traditional Garam Masala At Home.