Masala Flavor Magic – The story of spice blends

I was a very naughty child. I got into more trouble than you could imagine.  As a result, I spent many an afternoon sitting in the kitchen watching my mum folding samosas or blending spice mixtures or simply cooking phenomenal meals for the family.

My mum always simplified the spice blends, in fact if you saw her spice pantry – it was very basic.  She’d always say, “It’s not how many spices you use, it’s how you use them”.

With that said I’d like to share her four basic spice blends – typically known as Masalas

Meat Masala – add excitement to meat and poultry dishes

6 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
.5 tsp carom seeds (ajawain)
.25 star anise (2 or 3 sections)
3 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 black cardamom pods
5 bay leaves
1.5 tsp dried cilantro
.5 tsp mace
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp red chili powder

Curry Powder

7 tbsp coriander seeds
4 tbsp cumin seeds

Sabzi Masala – this blend makes vegetables and seafood come alive. This is the meat masala combined with 2 teaspoons of curry powder.

2 tsp curry powder
6 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajawain)
1/4 star anise (2 or 3 sections)
3 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 black cardamom pods
5 bay leaves
11/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp mace
11/2 tsp turmeric
11/2 tsp red chili powder

Garam Masala

4 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground mace

 


Heat heavy unoiled skillet over low heat. Add whole spices, except leaves, and toast, tossing occasionally until fragrant. Allow to cool, grind all the whole spices with the leaves (I prefer to use a coffee grinder – but any electric grinder will work just fine), add the powdered spices, mix and store in an airtight container. Keep away from light and heat. Tip: the minute you smell the toasty fragrance of spices, remove them from the pan. If they burn they will become bitter.

By |2017-03-08T09:25:05+00:00March 7th, 2017|Recipe, Reference, Spice Box|