Garam Masala

I made Nik Sharma’s Garam Masala for his Spiced Meatloaf recipe. Here’s how it went.

Nik Sharma’s Spiced Meatloaf recipe calls for Garam Masala, for which he also has a recipe in Season. So I gave it a shot.

The directions were straightforward enough, but the execution required some work.

Whole spices (cumin, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, black cardamom pods, and green cardamom pods) are toasted and then ground in either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

I have a mortar and pestle, not a spice grinder, and it was a lot of work. Large fibrous pieces are not quick work in the mortar, and both the black and green cardamom pods proved to take a lot of pounding. The cinnamon stick broke down faster than I expected, so that was nice.

I ended up alternating between the mortar and pestle and a small food processor. I don’t think either one would have done the job easily on its own, but together they did well.

I was surprised by the heat from just the peppercorns. The garam masala we buy from the store also has a surprising heat to me, so maybe that’s appropriate. I may adjust their quantity to make a milder version in the future so that it’s more kid friendly.

I am cooking my way through Nik Sharma’s Season cookbook. Read more about it.