Spice Descriptions and Uses

Garam Masala


Garam Masala is a traditional spice mixture from northern India. When prepared in India it may contain as few as three spices and as many as twelve or more.


It can vary according to the recipe being used, from fiery hot to mild. It is similar to curry but less aromatic.

How to Use:

Pilafs, stews, vegetable dishes, biranis, onion-based sauces, shrimp and lamb





1 tablespoon per pound of meat

1 teaspoon per 4 cups rice

1 teaspoon in each cup of marinade

Other Info:

In India it is said that there are as many varieties of garam masalas as there are cooks.

A basic recipe may include cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and mace.

Rice with Spice

1 cup uncooked basmati rice

2 1/2 cups hot chicken stock


1/4 cup butter

1 onion chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/3 cup raisins or currants

1/2 cup cashews

1 tablespoon oil

Add saffron to the chicken stock and let stand. Heat butter in large saucepan, sauté the onion until clear, add the garlic and garam masala, stir thoroughly while cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Add the uncooked rice and cook while stirring 2 more minutes. Pour in the stock. Add the raisins. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat, cover, cook 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Meanwhile heat oil in skillet and fry cashew nuts on medium heat until browned. Remove rice to serving bowl or plates. Garnish with cashews.