letters to the Curry House

muttlee wrote :
i want to know what garam masala is. i bought a bag of dried powdered GM , but i reckon it's a bit of a cop out. most of the ingredients i already use in my curry... coriander, cumin etc. how do you make yer garam masala? does it have any ting especiale? I use Rajah brand garam masala and don't tend to make my own. Even a good brand like Rajah uses cumin and coriander but I don't think that matters. What you also get in a good GM is the more aromatic spices like black pepper, cinnamon, pimento, cardamons, cloves and nutmeg in SMALL quantities . i.e. you don't have to go to all the trouble of grinding up each one when you only need a tiny amount of each. The other thing about GM is that it is usually added towards the end of the cooking in addition to the other spices as a way of adding a little fresh spicy taste. The other spices have been cooking for a while and have mellowed a little so the GM just livens things up a bit. I only use a tiny amount in this way otherwise all your curries end up tasting the same!

© David W Smith, 2002
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