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Garam Masala Spice Blend

Last week I was sick sick sick.  I’m still feeling under the weather but compared to last week, I’m feeling awesome.  One of my favorite comfort foods to have when I’m sick is soup.  Thank goodness the week before I got a big ol’ pot of beef stock and chicken stock going so I had enough to get me through the week.  My go-to soup when sick is a simple broth with a splash of brine from a ferment, a fresh minced garlic clove and a sprinkle of cayenne.

My other favorite soup is Cream of Carrot Soup, partly because it’s so amazingly good but mostly because it’s so easy to make, I can have my kids make it for me when I’m sick.  So I’m eating my carrot soup last week and I just can’t get my mind off of Lydia from Divine Health from the Inside Out‘s recipe for Masala Carrot Soup.  Just the title had me salivating.  The recipe is $.99 to download.  I figured I’ve made so many great recipes from Lydia and gotten so much excellent advice/information from her posts, $.99 was the least I could do to say thank you.

My sick brain was very happy to see it was easy to make, a brilliantly simple recipe.  I find my most favorite recipes are usually the simplest.  I have a drawer in my fridge full of the tastiest carrots from our CSA.  Marv takes pride in his carrots and they are the best I’ve ever tasted.  I’m not sure if it was the awesome carrots or an awesome recipe or a combination of the two, but this soup was everything I hoped it would be.  If you want to check out her recipe, you can find it here: Masala Carrot Soup.

One spice you do absolutely need to have to make this recipe is garam masala.  Where I live, any spice past the “normal” spices just isn’t available.  I have to order it online.  It is a spice blend I use frequently so I do have plenty on hand but if you can’t find it, it is fairly easy to make.  If you are needing to make this blend because you can’t find it, you most likely won’t be able to find curry leaves either.  You can substitute a pinch of basil with a pinch of lemon zest instead.  I use whole spices and grind them up in a dedicated coffee grinder but feel free to use the already ground spices instead.

There are close to a bazillion garam masala recipes out there but the consistent spices seem to be cinnamon, coriander, cloves and peppercorns.  So if you don’t have all the spices listed, don’t worry too much about leaving something out. I ran out of cumin seeds last week so this last batch I had to make without cumin seeds. It tastes a little different but still good.

Garam Masala

  •  5-10 dried chilies (optional, leave out for a mild blend)
  • 3  tsp cinnamon
  • 2 curry leaves (substitute a pinch of basil and a pinch of lemon zest if unavailable)
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (leave out if unavailable)

In a dry skillet, toast spices until fragrant.  Let cool and then grind with a mortar and pestle  or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight jar.  I like to vacuum seal my herbs and spices with a mason jar attachment to keep them fresh longer.


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