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Garam masala

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Ground garam masala

Garam masala (from Hindustani گرم مصالحہ/गरम मसाला garam masālā, "hot spices") is a blend of ground spices originating from South Asia. It is common in Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Caribbean cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The specific fixings differ by district, but it regularly incorporates a blend of flavors like cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and peppercorns. Garam masala can be found in a wide range of dishes, including marinades, pickles, stews, and curries.[citation needed]


Typical ingredients for a garam masala (clockwise from upper left): black peppercorns, mace, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, nutmeg, and green cardamom

The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across the Indian subcontinent according to regional and personal taste,[1] and none is considered more authentic than another. The components of the mix are roasted, then ground together or added to the dish for flavour just before finishing cooking.

A typical Indian version of garam masala[2] contains (with Hindi/Urdu names in parentheses):

Some recipes[3] call for the spices to be blended with herbs, while others call for the spices to be ground with water, vinegar, or other liquids to make a paste. Some recipes include nuts, onions or garlic, or small quantities of star anise, asafoetida, chili, stone flower (known as dagadphool, lichen), and kababchini (cubeb). The flavours may be blended to achieve a balanced effect, or a single flavour may be emphasized. A masala may be toasted before use to release its flavours and aromas.[1] In the east of the Indian subcontinent, in West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Bangladesh only cardamom, cinnamon and clove may be substituted for the assortment.[citation needed]

The Burmese masala (မဆလာ) spice blend used in Burmese curries typically consists of ground cinnamon or cassia, cardamon, cloves, and black pepper.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rama Rau, Santha (June 1969). The Cooking of India (Foods of the World). USA: Time Life Education. ISBN 978-0-8094-0069-0.
  2. ^ Pitre, Urvashi (September 19, 2017). Indian Instant Pot® Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast. Rockridge Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1939754547.
  3. ^ Bhide, Monica, "Garam Masala: A Taste Worth Acquiring Archived 2018-06-08 at the Wayback Machine". npr.org. April 27, 2011
  4. ^ To Myanmar with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur. ThingsAsian Press. 2009. ISBN 978-1-934159-06-4.

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