Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Punjabi Garam Masala

“What is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives.” Rupi Kaur

Garam masala is a familiar spice some of us lovers of Indian food have heard of before. It translates literally to warm spice and is actually a blend of spices. This recipe is labeled a Punjabi style which means it comes from the northern region of India; however garam masala is prepared in other portions across the country as well. It is very simple to make by toasting, cooling and grinding spices to elicit a rich and complex aromatic flavor.

How symbolic it is where one can take whole things and grind them up to produce something totally different. Kind of like our hearts that can get broken over and over and over yet it still hopes, it still laughs, it still loves. It sounds so cliche but the human quality of resilience truly is miraculous. It has been an emotionally difficult week for me, letting in new realities of loved ones, sinking ever deeper in the knowledge that we all have our limits. But why do mine often feel less than others? Why do my limits feel limitless and others so rigid and fixed when an injury happens once or twice? I don’t know. I can’t seem to put words to it yet. Abby would understand.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds (from black pods), 3 cinnamon sticks broken into smaller pieces, 3 bay leaves dried or fresh.

  1. Preheat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add all the ingredients and toast for about 1-2 minutes until mixture is highly fragrant. Remove from skillet and cool on a plate. (If they remain in the skillet they may burn making them bitter and unpalatable.) Once they are cool to the touch, grind in a spice grinder. (If you don’t allow them to cool the ground blend will acquire unwanted moisture from the heat, making the final blend slightly “cakey”. The ground blend will be reddish brown and the aroma will be sweet and complex, very different from that of the pre-toasted and post-toasted whole spices.

One Reply to “Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Punjabi Garam Masala”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: