How to Make the Perfect Meals

When I started blogging I had this idea that you could make an interesting meal with a small number of interesting ingredients. I’ve been trying it out for a while now, and it seems to work. This is my example meal:

* 1 lb ground beef

* 1/2 cup garam masala

* 1/2 cup water

(I also put in some salt and pepper, and sometimes some cumin too.)

Brown the meat, then add the water and masala. Add more water if necessary to keep things from burning (and to keep them juicy). Serve over rice.

Garam Masala is an Indian spice mix that can be used to season anything. It can be added to chicken, rice, vegetables, etc. to give the dish a little extra kick. Garam means “warm” and masala means “spices” in Hindi (an Indian language). Garam masala is usually used as a final touch at the end of cooking or sprinkled on top of dishes just before serving.

Garam masala is not one specific recipe. There are many different variations depending upon where you are from in India and what your family uses. I have used 2 versions of garam masala in this blog: the Northern style and the Southern Style.

The Northern style is what most people think of when they hear the words “garam masala”. This version consists of cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, nutmeg, mace blades and bay leaves. This mix creates a warm, aromatic flavor that goes well with almost any dish. I find this version especially good for making curries or other dishes with tomato based sauces because it adds some sweetness without overpowering everything else in the dish.

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in many Indian and South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings.

As the name indicates, it is hot or warm; “garam” means hot, and “masala” means mixture of spices. The heat comes from cayenne pepper or red chilies, but the garam masala itself does not usually contain chili peppers.

Garam masala may be used as a spice rub for meat and poultry, or as a flavoring for soups, stews, curries, and rice dishes.

The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste, and none is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together. In some recipes, ingredients including nuts, onions, or garlic may be added. Some recipes also call for small quantities of star anise, asafoetida, chili powder and kababchini (cassia bark). The flavours may be carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect, or a single flavor may be emphasized. A masala may be toasted before use to release its flavours and aromas.

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asian cuisines. The word garam refers to “heating the body” in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, as these spices are believed to elevate body temperature in Ayurvedic medicine.

Garam masala is used early in the cooking process to flavor meats and vegetables. It is also added at the end of cooking or sprinkled on finished dishes just before serving. If a recipe calls for garam masala as one of the main ingredients, it is usually added at the beginning with other spices; if it is used for seasoning, it may be added towards the end of cooking or even after cooking is complete.

Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine. All the ingredients are first dry roasted and then ground together. The word garam means “hot” and masala means “spices.” Garam masala differs from curry powder in that it doesn’t contain turmeric, which acts as a coloring agent.

Indian food is as diverse as its culture, languages, regions and its climate. Every family has their own version of garam masala and some make a fresh batch every time they cook. Garam masala is added at the end of cooking so that the oils in the spices don’t evaporate.

So the next time you are dreaming about Indian food, try making your own garam masala and enjoy the flavors of India right in your own kitchen!

Homemade garam masala is a simple and delicious way to add an exotic touch to your cooking. It is easy to make, but you must use whole spices rather than ground, or the flavor will be flat.

Toast the whole spices in a dry pan over medium-high heat until they are fragrant and slightly darker. Be careful not to burn them; this will make them bitter. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Place in a coffee grinder in small batches, and grind to a powder that resembles coarse sand. Store in an airtight container away from direct light, preferably in the refrigerator.

Garam masala is used as the finishing touch on many Indian dishes, either sprinkled over the top or stirred into the dish during the last few minutes of cooking. The following recipes are some of my favorites:

Curried Cauliflower with Potatoes

This flavorful dish is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian (Clarkson Potter 2001). The original recipe calls for two whole heads of cauliflower, but I prefer to use smaller florets, as it makes for easier serving and eating. This recipe also makes a great vegetarian main course when served with rice or naan bread.

1 T oil or g

Garam Masala is a highly aromatic mixture of ground spices used in Indian cooking. It is a versatile blend that can easily be made at home and stored in an airtight container and kept for several months. The word garam means “hot” (though the mixtures are not necessarily spicy) and masala means “spices.”

You can use garam masala in nearly any savory dish. It’s great for making curries, soups, stews or adding to vegetables or rice dishes. If you’re looking for a way to add some new flavors to your favorite recipes, give this recipe a try!


1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (from about 8 pods)

6 whole cloves

6 dried red chile peppers, stemmed and seeded*

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