You can find basic Garam Masala mixes in most modern supermarkets across the world, but ask a Pakistani cook to share their recipe with you and they will all tell you the same thing: it is a closely guarded family secret.
In reality, there is no one recipe for garam masala: it is a unique blend that is authentic each and every time it is made. Most chefs and families have their own combination and portions of spices that they are familiar with.
But what exactly is Garam Masala?
Garam Masala is a mix of spices that translates as ‘hot spice blends’ and if you’ve ever been to a Pakistani or Indian restaurant, it is highly likely that you’ve tried it at some point. While these blends can vary greatly in composition, most are made up of the classic Asian spices of; black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, black peppercorns and cloves.
The mix is aimed to bring warmth to the body, mind and soul by bringing great flavour to dishes without burning the palate. The mix is used to season a great many meat, poultry and vegetable dishes. The mix is added at different stages of the cooking process in order to layer the flavours.
For meats, rice and poultry ‘khara garam masala’ (whole garam masala blends) are added to hot oil to infuse with aromatics. Ground garam masala is versatile, it can be added at any point during the cooking process and can even be added at the end as a garnish.
Garam Masala is the flavour that every Pakistani remembers from childhood, and the smells and tastes of that perfect blend their family makes can instantly transport them back to childhood.
Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in Manchester uses our own special blend of Garam Masala in our dishes to provide a unique yet much loved spice mix.