Looking to spice up your meals for your family? Then look no further than Garam Masala. Learning how to buy this spice will certainly make your dishes more interesting.
What is Garam Masala?
The word Garam translates into ‘hot’ while the word Masala is translated as ‘spice’. When you want to get your dishes extra hot, you go to your grocery store and buy this hot spice.
This is not just one spice. Garam Masala is a combination of cumin, cloves, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. While you are heating up your meals, they will smell good at the same time.
Benefits of Garam Masala
Garam masala is a blend of ground spices that are commonly used in Indian cuisine. The specific ingredients used in garam masala can vary depending on the region and recipe, but it typically includes a combination of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Here are some benefits of garam masala:
1. Enhances Digestion:
Many of the spices in garam masala, such as cumin and coriander, have natural digestive properties that can help to alleviate digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation.
2. Boosts Metabolism:
The various spices in garam masala can help to increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories and lose weight.
Many of the spices in garam masala, such as turmeric and cinnamon, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the body.
The spices in garam masala are rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
5. Aids in blood sugar regulation:
Garam masala contains some spices such as cinnamon that have been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Some of the spices in garam masala, such as ginger, have immune-boosting properties that can help to strengthen the body’s defenses against illness and infection.
Overall, garam masala is a flavorful and healthy addition to any diet. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from curries to soups, and can provide numerous health benefits.
Where to buy garam masala?
While this combination of spices is used mainly for Eastern Indian dishes, you are in luck. It can be found in a variety of markets including the following:
- Grocery store
- Health food stores
- International food stores
- Asian markets
- Indian food stores
- Middle eastern grocery stores
- Farmers markets
- Local food co-ops
It is quite possible that it is not popular in your neighborhood as it is a specialty group of spices. That means you will have to go to different stores until you can find it.
Where to find garam masala in the grocery store?
This will depend on how it is packaged. If it is sold in those little jars most spices are packaged in, then you should be able to find it in the spice aisle. This jar may be crowded with all the other spices on sale.
Or you should look in the international aisle of your grocer. This spice is packaged in different formats and often placed beside international foods for better sales.
Then if there is a special section for Southeast Asian food items and spices, it should be located in that area.
How is garam masala sold?
You may not have heard about this culmination of spices before or know how it is packaged. This product is put in different types of containers ranging from plastic pouches to glass jars.
You should be able to find it in those traditional spice jars sold in the spice section. Or you may see it in plastic refill pouches that many products are sold in.
If you need a lot of this set of spices then you will find it packaged in glass and plastic jars of varying sizes. There is a package to meet everyone’s cooking needs. This spice is also found in specially marked tins.
What to look for when you are buying garam masala?
The general rule of thumb is to look at the ‘best before date’. All spices have a long shelf life and do not really go bad. This includes Garam Masala. Its shelf life is about 4 years.
When you have had this group of spices for some time, and still want to use it. That is okay. There will be no bad side effects from using this set of spices. The worst you will get is a lack of flavor and freshness.
Just make sure to store it in air-tight containers so it won’t lose its aroma. If you store it right, it can last a long time.
Where does garam masala come from?
The history of this group of hot spices says that it originated in Northern India. Over time it has migrated to different parts of Southeast Asia. You will find that it is made in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, & the Caribbean.
As more people tasted its wonderful flavor, you will find Garam Masala made all over the world. The best sources will be those countries listed above. Plus, regions of each country will have their own version of this set of spices.
There is a variety of combinations that can be used to create this group of spices.
How much does garam masala cost?
The final cost you will pay will depend on where you buy it. If you shop online at Amazon, you will find that the vendors’ prices range from $6 to over $20. These prices are influenced by the amount in the package and the packaging itself.
If you look at Walmart’s online store, you will find the same range of prices, sizes, and packaging. Most likely, you will find other grocers selling Garam Masala for similar prices as these two giant marketplaces
Since there is no hard and fast recipe for this group of spices, you can buy one of any variety and have the same thing. Or you can simply make your own by following the alternative recipe that appeals to you
Some final words
To make your meals more interesting to your family, do some experimenting. Using Garam masala is a perfect way to add flavor and make your regular dishes tastier.
If you can’t find it at your grocer, just find a recipe, buy the different spices, and make your own. The sky is the limit with this set of spices.
If you don’t have Garam Masala on hand, you can use a combination of cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and black pepper as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the flavor won’t be exactly the same as Garam Masala.