What is Masala?
The word “masala” comes from Hindi, and it typically refers to a mix of spices that can include cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and other spices.
Are there different styles of garam masala in Indian subcontinent? can you tell me about the general variations separated by the regions where it’s generally used?
Is Marsala the same as Masala?
No, Marsala and Masala are not the same thing. Masala refers to a blend of spices commonly used in South Asian cuisine, while Marsala is a fortified wine that is produced in the region of Marsala, in western Sicily, Italy.
Marsala wine is made from a blend of grapes, including the white grape varieties Grillo, Inzolia, and Catarratto, and the red grape variety Nero d’Avola. The wine is fortified with a neutral grape spirit and then aged in oak barrels, which gives it a rich, complex flavor.
Marsala wine has been produced in Sicily since the late 18th century, and it was popularized in the UK in the 19th century as a cooking wine. It is commonly used in Italian cuisine to flavor dishes such as chicken or veal Marsala, which typically includes Marsala wine, mushrooms, and garlic.
While the names Marsala and Masala may sound similar, they are not related in any way.
What is Garam Masala?
Masala is a term used in Indian cuisine to refer to a blend of ground spices used to flavor dishes.
Garam masala is a type of masala that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. “Garam” means “warm” or “hot” in Hindi, and “masala” means spice blend, so garam masala is a warm spice blend.
What are different types of this?
There are many variations of garam masala throughout the Indian subcontinent, and the blend of spices used can vary depending on the region and the cook. Generally speaking, garam masala will be different based on the regional cuisines. And they may not even refer to it as garam masala in some regional cuisines (though they do make dishes which use garam masala too – but traditionally speaking).
If that’s too many choices and you just want to try one – then try this.
Examples of Garam Masalas:
Punjabi garam masala:
This blend typically includes cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds. It is often used in Punjabi dishes such as chole and rajma.
Bengali garam masala:
This blend typically includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and cumin seeds. It is often used in Bengali dishes such as fish curry and chicken curry.
Maharashtrian garam masala:
This blend typically includes cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns. It is often used in Maharashtrian dishes such as vangi bhaat (also a popular dish in Southern Karnataka) and matki usal.
Kashmiri garam masala:
This blend typically includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds. It is often used in Kashmiri dishes such as rogan josh and yakhni.
These are just a few examples of the many different variations of garam masala used throughout the Indian subcontinent. The exact blend of spices used can vary depending on the region and the cook, but garam masala generally adds warmth and depth of flavor to dishes.
What about the southern regions of India? Well, glad you asked – Read more about the Southern Spice Mixes.