Updated: Sep 4
What is Garam Masala? It is not a meal or a dish but a complex blend of spices, that makes any dish it is added to much more interesting and exciting! With often more than 10 spices in the blend, you get the health benefits of each and every spice.
In general, spices are loaded with powerful disease fighting and health promoting antioxidants! Just what we need right now to boost our immune system. Garam Masala has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine, who knew a sprinkle of this wonderful spice blend could be so impressively good for our health. ‘Garam’ in Indian means ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ and ‘Masala’ means ‘spice mix’, it is known for creating warmth internally and raising our metabolism whilst aiding digestion! Whilst it means ‘hot spice mix’ it has a gentle earthy warmth with rarely more than a hint of heat.
If you are a fan of Indian food, you will be used to adding Garam Masala to many Indian recipes. It is so flavourful and versatile, you can add it to many other dishes, not just Indian food. We love how Garam Masala makes it so easy to include so many different spices into one meal or snack. Here are some we enjoy:
Mayo – add a sprinkle of garam masala to your Mayo to make it spicier and take it up a notch!
Hash Browns – with a sprinkle of Garam Masala and a little crème fraiche – divine!
Coffee – adding a sprinkle of Garam Masala to your coffee will make your coffee drinking experience a little richer!
Vegetables – cauliflower being our favourite, but all veggies sprinkled with Garam Masala and extra garlic granules…yum!
Popcorn – bored with the available flavours? Add a little Garam Masala to your popped kernels with or without butter and shake well!
Green Beans – add a pinch of Garam Masala to a tbsp of foaming browned butter and toss the beans in then sprinkle with crushed toasted hazelnuts!
Broccoli Soup – with a little Garam Masala added, along with some coconut milk, almonds, maple syrup and sea salt….so healthy and delicious!
Gingerbread Cookies – add a pinch of Garam Masala to your favourite recipe!
Potatoes – add to stuffed or twice baked potatoes, so much more exciting!
Cupcakes – always a good idea! Add a teaspoon of Garam Masala to your normal recipe… an even better idea!
Easy Chana Masala
3 Tbsp olive oil (or sub coconut oil)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 28-ounce can pureed or finely diced tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, slightly drained
2 tsp Spice&Easy Garam Masala blend
2-3 tsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin and ¼ tsp salt
Blend garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies into a rough paste, add to the pan with the onions.
Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry.
Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1/2 cup water. You are looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish.
So keep eating your fruits and veggies but do remember to add your small but mighty spice and herbs into your daily diet!