3 Ways to Spice Up Your Diet with Garam Masala
Garam Masala is an aromatic and flavorful spice blend that is commonly used in many popular Indian dishes. With a foundation of familiar spices like coriander, cumin, chili, and black pepper, and the delicate addition of cardamom, clove, nutmeg, and fenugreek, this traditional blend creates a rich and complex flavor profile that is wholly unique and entirely delicious.
Garam masala has a place in every well-stocked spice rack, serving as a testament to its long legacy of culinary use as well as its natural healing qualities. Aside from tasting great and adding unforgettable flavor to your meals, garam masala delivers a digestive kick to keep agni burning strong.
One of the best things about this unique blend of spices is its incredible versatility, making it the perfect choice for a wide variety of recipes, both savory and sweet! Check out these three very different recipes below to get excited about the newest addition to your spice rack.
Vata Friendly Popcorn
Yep, it’s true! Popcorn seems like the absolute most vata aggravating food possible, and in many ways, it is! But with a few Ayurvedic tricks, this snacker’s delight can be enjoyed without disturbing vata.
- ¼ cup whole popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Pinch of mineral salt
Melt the ghee in a pot over medium-high heat (make sure the pot is large enough for the popcorn to expand). Add the garam masala and popcorn kernels, cover, and shake gently to coat. Don’t walk away, this will happen quickly!
Keeping the lid on, gently shake the pot every 15 seconds to prevent the kernels from burning. Once there is a 2-second pause between each pop, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Add salt or additional ghee to taste.
Creamy Spiced Squash Soup
This nourishing and silky soup is easy to make and super yummy. The spices of garam masala combine with the coconut milk for a creamy bowl of vegetable goodness. For a vegan variation, use coconut or sesame oil in place of ghee.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using a vegetable peeler or a knife, remove the skin from the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and chop into approximately 1-inch cubes. In a large soup pot, add the ghee and onion, and sauté for 3 minutes.
Next add the water or broth, squash, and garam masala, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Once the squash is soft, add the coconut milk.
If you have an immersion blender, puree directly in the pot until smooth and creamy. If using a countertop blender, transfer the soup to your blender and puree in batches before returning to the pot. Reheat if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Red Lentil Masala
Who doesn’t love red lentils? They are easy on the digestive system, cook in just 20 minutes, and they carry the spices of garam masala beautifully. Mix it up and make this recipe year-round by using seasonal veggies in place of the chopped leafy greens.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- ½ cup leafy greens, chopped
- ½ teaspoon mineral salt
- 2 ½ cups water
Soak lentils for 1–4 hours (optional), rinse thoroughly, and set aside.
Warm the ghee in a pot over medium heat. Add the garam masala and sauté for 1 minute, or until the aromas release. Add the rinsed red lentils and stir to coat. Cook uncovered for 1–2 minutes.
Add the water, salt, and chopped leafy greens. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add salt to taste, serve, and enjoy!