farmwives’ kitchen ~ garam masala

This season, when the days are short, damp, cold, and gray, our bodies want warming.

Here’s one of our favorite solutions – garam masala.  “Garam” translates as “heat” in the Ayurvedic sense of heating the body, and “masala” is simply a blend of spices.garam masala 1

I don’t add any hot pepper to our garam masala blend, but the spices used are generally warming by nature.  Everyone in the family enjoys it with meat or beans (dal), on roasting root vegetables, and sometimes even with yogurt, oatmeal, and raisins.roasties

Here’s the lowdown…

cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, black pepper, fennel, cardamon, nutmeg

I use each in equal parts, except the nutmeg, which I grate by hand at the very end – it doesn’t take much.

If I have the spices whole, I measure them equally into a cast iron skillet and gently toast them until they are fragrant.  Then, we grind them. Of course, traditionally this would be done in a mortal and pestle, which would be an extremely fragrant and satisfying process.  My grinding stones are small, so I often opt to use a little Mr. Coffee grinder, working bit by bit, until they are all powdered.  Any spices already powdered I do not toast, but add to the mix after the initial crunching is done.

The mix of spices is a personal choice  —  if you need more coriander in your life,  just add it.  Just lovely.garam masala 3

May your body be warm and your heart be light today!