In India, it’s said that every family has its own secret recipe for Garam Masala. Each kitchen holds the key to the amounts and types of spices and herbs that create the mix. A yummy combo of ground spices like Cinnamon, Cumin, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cloves – what’s not to like? Garam Masala is one of our favorite warm and aromatic spice mixes. Once thought terribly “exotic”, as cooks across the United States have adopted this interesting Indian spice blend, you can now find it in almost every grocery store.
The combination of the ingredients in this savory mix bring nutrition to the table, too! Garam masala can help with weight loss because of the blend of spices. The literal translation of the spice’s name is “heat spice” or “hot spice.” And individually each spice brings its own health benefits which include:
Cinnamon: An anti-microbial as well as anti-inflammatory. It can also help control elevated blood sugars.
Cumin: Helps stimulate digestion, helps relieve nausea and indigestion.
Black Pepper: Increases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and proteins. It helps break down fat cells (and brings the “heat” to the spice.
Cardamom: An anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic. It helps to flush out toxins from the body.
Cloves: Boosts the metabolism, removes toxins from the blood stream, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and regulates blood sugar levels.
Bay Leaves: A powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent cancer, arthritis, and ulcers.
What’s even more interesting is how you can use it to flavor foods from soups to stews, main courses and even dessert. In this week’s recipe, we use it as a warm baking spice that pairs perfectly with the crystallized ginger. A summer dessert with only three ingredients plus fresh summer fruit? Sign us up. It tastes like a delish cobbler – with out the crust.
Spicy, (not hot), Summer Fruit
1 TB Garam Masala
1 TB Raw Sugar
1 TB Crystallized Ginger, chopped
4 – 6 Cups of chopped Seasonal Fruit (like strawberries and peaches, pineapple, etc.)
Stir the garam masala, sugar and ginger together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the fruit and place under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the fruit is browned on the edges. Serve over ***frozen yogurt, cake or just by itself!