While researching a new romantic suspense novel in which the hero is originally from India but lives in London, I began experimenting with Indian cuisine. I'm hooked on dosas (thin Indian pancakes) which I make using a combination of chickpea flour (besan), brown rice flour, and whole wheat flour, but I probably don't make them like anyone in India does because my favorite filling is deli style American cheese. Strange, but true.
Anyway, in learning to cook Indian style, I soon discovered that I needed a spice mixture called garam masala. I didn't have any, of course, but found a recipe online. That recipe (link below) called for coriander, which I'm not overly fond of, so I substituted fenugreek, which is another spice used in Indian cooking. Apparently there is no one certain way to make garam masala, you simply combine the spices you like. Garam masala can be used to flavor just about anything you want to add a little zing to.
What follows is my adaptation of the Easy Garam Masala recipe from Allrecipes.com.
Cat Master Garam Masala
Ingredients (All spices are already ground)
1 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp fenugreek (or coriander if you like it)
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt (optional) I use pink Himalayan salt, but any type will do
Mix together and store in an airtight container. I keep two batches on hand at all times: One without the salt that I use for cooking, and one with the salt added in a shaker bottle on the table. I've sprinkled it on everything from baked potatoes to fried eggs, and it's always tasty. If the cumin is a little strong for you, it can be omitted or reduced.