Garam masala always has many different spices with a complex flavour profile. However, when it comes to Bengali garam masala, there is nothing complicated about it. It’s too simple and easy to make. So, just about anyone can make it at home.
How to make Bengali garam masala?
You need just three ingredients to make Bengali gorom moshla. Green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves are needed. Trust me, it is suspiciously simple and too few ingredients but the flavour is brilliant. It is fragrant and is used differently in Bengali cuisine. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone in my family use shop-bought garam masala. I remember my grandmother using sil batta or shil nora, as we call it, for powdering the spices. In the past, garam masala bata (mixed with water) was used instead of the powder spices. However, nowadays, we have the benefit of a grinder and we can powder the spices and keep them. Having said that, I feel bata moshla, ie masala ground over stone with water, tastes far better than the powdered ones.
You don’t even have to roast the spices. The measurement is also fairly easy. It is an equal proportion of each spice. Simply powder in a grinder and keep in an airtight container.
Uses of Bengali Gorom Moshla
We normally don’t use Bengali garam masala at the beginning of our cook. We add whole garam masala at the beginning of the recipes that need the tempering of such spices. Having said that, we add the powdered one in the end for a fresh lingering flavour. We also add garam masala for marinating meats and our dalna gravies have garam masala in the end. Our khichuri too has Bengali garam masala in the end.
Here are few recipes where Bengali garam masala has been used
- Ribibarer Murgir Jhol – Sunday chicken curry, Bengali way
- Doodh Potol – Pointed gourd cooked in a creamy milk-based gravy
- Maacher kalia- Bengali fish kalia
- Omelette curry- Bengali way
- Bhetki maacher malaikari – Bhekti fish cooked in a coconut gravy
- Fulkopi diye chingri maach- Prawns cooked with cauliflower
- Chal potol- Pulao with pointed gourd
- Bengali bhuni khichuri- typically made during puja
- Chital maacher muitha- fish ball curry
- Basanti pulao- Bengali yellow pulao
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Bengali garam masala
- 1 tbsp green cardamom
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- Take all the ingredients and put them in a grinder. Powder them. However, it need not be a very fine powder also. The cardamom husk is a bit difficult to completely powder. So, a few fibers work alright.
- Store in an airtight container and keep with rest of your spices.