Garam masala is a warm, fragrant, spice blend of flavors including cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. As a result, the dishes have more sweetness, floral notes and bold taste compared to curry powder.
Both deep and savory, garam masala uses a complex blend of spices. As a result, it can be tricky and difficult to pair with ingredients to prevent from overpowering the taste of spices.
What to eat with garam masala? Garam masala is generally served in chicken tikka masala, chicken biryani, samosas, chana masala, and various soups.
Simply add a pinch of garam masala into soup at the end of cooking to enhance the overall flavor. Not only in soups, but the spice blend is also used in curries, lentils and scrambled eggs.
When using chicken, coconut milk, naan, lentils, and potatoes, always add bit of garam masala instead of curry powder.
Garam masala is more than just a spice, it’s an experience. The smell, taste, and even color all play a part in making garam masala something extraordinary.
As a matter of fact, it should come as no surprise that this blend is useful in various meals. This article answers the commonly asked questions about what to pair with garam masala so that you are not left guessing anymore.
What does garam masala go with?
This Indian spice garam masala has a lot of uses, and typically pairs well with spices such as curry, chili pepper, and other aromatic herbs. Garam masala is delicious and can be used as a rub for meats or seasoning in soups and stews.
It works well with savory foods such as tomato sauce or vegetables, and can even pair with sweet desserts like apple pie. The flavor profile of garam masala is similar to that of basic curry powder in that it can make a dish more complex and flavorful when used in moderate proportions.
If you are alternatively using garam masala instead of curry powder, here are ingredients to try in your favorite dish:
- Fruits: apples, grapes, strawberries, peaches, mango, passion fruit, oranges, dried fruits
- Vegetables: cabbage, butternut squash, cucumber, green peas, potatoes, green beans, carrots, leeks, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, bell pepper
- Herbs: mint, bay leaves
- Dairy: butter, cream, yogurt, Greek yogurt
- Meat: chicken, lamb, beef,
- Spices: cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, curry powder, coriander, cardamom
- Seeds: fennel seeds, mustard seeds, caraway seeds
- Rice: basmati rice
- Legumes: garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, black eyed peas
- Bread: naan, pita
Can you use garam masala and curry together?
Yes, garam masala and curry spice can be used together in a dish. They are both powerful spice blends and can be used interchangeably in recipes, and can be used in different dishes within the same meal to complement one another.
The flavor profiles of garam masala and curry are similar, but subtly different in terms of floral, heat, and spice level. Garam masala is typically less spicy than curry, but it can make a dish more complex, flavorful, and exciting.
It’s worth noting that garam masala is not as fragrant as curry. While curry can be smelled when it’s cooking, garam masala is best experienced by smelling it closer to the pot.
This makes garam masala a great addition to stews and curries that might be better served with a mellower touch including sweet potato curry or roasted cauliflower curry as opposed to chili chicken curry or tomato cream butter chicken.
What flavor goes well with garam masala?
Many Indian and Thai dishes use garam masala, but it can be mixed into any dish for extra flavor kick. Curry powder, ground cumin, ginger, garlic and chili pepper work well with garam masala.
This blend is made from various spices including cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and coriander seeds. In addition, it contains long red chilies and citrus zest.
As a result, it has a deep and complex flavor that is slightly smoky with hints of sweetness and a touch of heat. As a bonus, the mix is quite aromatic, allowing it to be smelled throughout the house when cooking.
The spice lends its distinctive flavor to a variety of dishes. Garam masala works well with sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and hot tastes, and really likes being added to dishes made with black pepper.
Here are classic flavor combination to try with garam masala:
- garam masala + chicken + coconut milk + black sesame seeds
- garam masala + white wine + broth + veal + red peppers
- garam masala + apples + maple syrup + coconut oil
- garam masala + black tea + ginger + cinnamon + sugar
- garam masala + lentil + lemon + curry powder + pita bread
Eat with Garam Masala: Conclusion
Garam Masala is a versatile and delicious spice blend that is similar to curry powder. It’s a great way to add bold flavor to dishes without overwhelming them with heat.
This blend works well across a variety of different dishes by adding layers of flavor. Sprinkle it on top of roasted chicken breasts and potatoes or add it to a traditional tomato-based pasta sauce with shrimp.
Blend of spices like cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and more, garam masala is used widely in authentic Indian dishes such as chicken tikka masala, biryani, samosas, chana masala, soups, and stews.
Most likely added at the end of cooking to impart color and flavor, or simply add raw to enjoy before serving. Replace with curry powder to deepen and enrich the flavor of the dish to complement with coconut milk, naan bread, lentils, and potatoes.
Use this guide to understand possible uses for garam masala in your cooking style. Maybe you will find an appreciation for the spice blend that was never known before.