Indian cooking is incomplete without the masalas and tadkas. While each spice has its own unique flavour, garam masala is one prominent spice mix that is an integral part of Indian cooking. A mix of condiments, it is popular for its ability to enhance flavours. But did you know the typical garam masala is well-suited for winter as it contains heat producing ingredients? But worry not, you can make your own summer-friendly garam masala with specific spices that cool down the body instead of heating it up.
Chef Ranveer Brar who recently featured on a live session on Indian Express’ Facebook Page showed how to make a “basic garam masala for the summer”, which can be used to make curries, soups and lentils.
He said, “What is important to understand is the nature of spices, their characteristics and how to use those characteristics. Spice mixes are needed for one’s body, flavour and sharpness. The most common spices used in any spice mix are coriander seeds or cumin seeds. And as summers approach, it is a good habit to increase the quality of coriander and cumin seeds as they help in stomach-related issues.”
While nutmeg and cinnamon produce heat in the body and are good for the winter, spices like clove and fennel seeds are good for the summer, Brar added.
Here’s how he made it:
3 parts – Coriander seeds
Few – Dried red chillies
2 part – Cumin seeds
1 – Star anise
10-12 – Black peppercorns
6-7 – Small cardamom
3-4 – Cloves
1/2 tsp – Saunf or fennel seeds
Pinch – Fenugreek seeds (optional)
*Lightly grind the spices in a mixie. It does not need to be a fine powder.
*Grind again and it is ready.
The spices are lightly ground in a mixie as they tend to heat up if done vigorously. Therefore, it is advised to do it in 2-4 pulses.
Pro tip: Whenever you make a spice mix, add salt at the end. It helps enhance the flavours and also absorbs the excess water, if any.