Masala Seasoning

Masala seasoning refers to the primary seasoning mixtures used in Indian cuisine. In fact the word masala means mixture referring to a mixture of ground spices used either by themselves or with other seasonings. These mixtures are similar to curry but without the inclusion of chilies and turmeric, other than that the mixtures are similar containing ingredients such as coriander, cumin and peppercorns.

Some basic blends of masalas are: garam masala, chaat masala, and chai masala.

Garam masalas are referred to as hot spices with an almost sweet flavor used in North Indian and South Asian cuisines and is generally added in a small amount to meats and vegetables at the end of cooking.

Chaat masala is a mixture of spices that are considered hot and spicy and that are mainly used in snacks, salads especially fruit salads and fruit juices.

Chai masala refers to a spiced tea mixture added to black tea which is combined with milk and sweetened with sugar or honey. Some of the chai spices used in this mixture are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and peppercorns with some essential mixtures adding vanilla.

The recipe below is a simple recipe for garam masala seasoning.

Garam Masala Recipe

4 teaspoons ground fennel seeds

2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 ½ teaspoons ground caraway seeds

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds

Mix thoroughly and store in an airtight container, the mixture can be stored for up to six months.

For a nice video on creating garam masala seasoning click on the link to

For some great sections on herbs and spices some great references are:

• The Spice and Herb Bible – Second Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill

• Field Guide to Herbs & Spices by Aliza Green

• Herbs & Spices – the cook’s reference by Jill Norman

• The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices – Seasonings For The Global Kitchen by Tony Hill

• Cajun Clark’s Cookbooks

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