A spice mixture used in Indian cookery. The exact mix varies according to the cooks taste and regions but the following spices are typically used, whole: Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and black pepper. The whole spices are roasted together, then ground into powder.
Because the spices are not raw, garam masala may be added to dishes in the final stages of cooking or sprinkled over as a final seasoning before serving the food. It can be made in large quantities and stored in airtight containers.
This curry does not have a fixed set of ingredients but a typical mixture may contain the following ingredients, all roasted and ground to a powder: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, mustard seeds and possibly cinnamon.
Other ingredients may include cayenne pepper or a mixture or cayenne and paprika to enhance the red colour, turmeric, fresh ginger and garlic; and possibly fresh curry leaves, onions or asafoetida. This is my version of the paste.
Capsicum annum L.
Paprika is a powder made from grinding the dried fruits (pods) of various cultivars of sweet Capsicum annum peppers, also commonly known as bell pepper, chile, or chilli pepper.
Paprika can be ‘smoked ‘or ‘unsmoked‘ depending on the drying method used.
In the La Murcia region of Spain and other producing countries, like Hungary and Argentina, the peppers are dried in sun to produce the “unsmoked” version of paprika. With advancement of technologies, today, the fresh peppers can also be dried artificially in ovens, to give unsmoked paprika.
In the La Vera region of Spain, the peppers are dried over very slow-burning Oak fires to give “smoked paprika’ or pimentón de la Vera as the Spanish call it. The smoked paprika has an earthy and smoky aroma.
The flavours of paprika vary from country to country, but almost all plants grown produce the sweet variety. Continue reading