For once, I am actually talking about just the humble masala that we put in our food and not some juicy gossip to brighten up our dull lives :). As times change, and we find better activities to engage us, we prefer to spend less time in the kitchen. My husband will vouch that I’d rather read a book or watch a movie than actually do some routine housekeeping around the house. The redeeming factor is that I do my own cooking and a pretty decent job at that with a lot of variety at each meal. That brings me to spices that are at the heart of an Indian meal. Spices are an inherent part of Indian cooking. We make special garam masala for our gravies, use chilly powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, pepper on a daily basis along with our specialist masala like sambhar powder, chhole masala and many many more powder, masala and chutneys.
Now, just like so many other moms, I have started using packaged masala solely for the convenience angle. But, they really lack both on the freshness and taste front. To add to it, the risk of adulteration. I mean turmeric being bright yellow or the chatak red color of chillies got me inclined to grinding my own spices. I actually made turmeric powder from root turmeric (or khadi haldi easily available at your kirana store) and chilly powder from the regular dried red chillies that we use for tempering. And the turmeric was so very fragrant and tasty really. So was the chilly powder. It actually took me less than 15 minutes to make them, and it was totally worth the time and effort. I know it is not possible to do everything from scratch at home with our time constraints, but I felt this was worth finding the time for.
The homemade garam masala was also wonderful in its aroma. I wish you could have tasted my mutter paneer :). It really enhanced the taste and the flavor. Now I plan to make my own coriander powder, jeera powder and sambhar powder. Not only are they working wonders for the taste of my meal, they stay pretty fresh for at least a month. And, I know that I am not feeding adulterated powders in the name of spices to my family. If you don’t know a recipe, just google it and prepare your own masala.
Try it if you have never made homemade masala.
Image courtesy: http://ravirajspices.com