Recipes/ Spice Blends

Bengali garam masala spice blend – for whom the flavors comes first

Garam masala – the most iconic spice blend from the land of culinary melting pot, India.

bengali garam masala

It is amazing how the spices stirred up the forgotten memories that were seeped deep in astounding flavors, of a time when modernity was not able to cast its shadows on the culinary instincts, when each of the spices were carefully hand-picked from the spice merchants and hand pounded on the stone grinder with utmost precision. Making the perfect spice blend was the forte of few, the masalchis of the royal court and the humble housewives extraordinaire.

garam masala

Knowledge flows through the lore of bygone stories which were largely centered around the food, an inherent aptitude that runs through the genes and a tradition born slowly through the ages. Thus following the tradition in the same way, year after year without any distinctive changes, this special spice blend of garam masala evolves through time. A flavour that is so distinctive of our culture and visceral to our ancestry.

garam masala

As the simmering progress the highly enchanting aroma percolates through the thick walls and wafted along the long corridors, jolting the doors of curious neighbours leaving an unspoken invitation for them to cherish the culinary delicacies. Decades later in a very uneventful way the same culinary stories afloat and sense of self-admiration engulfs when you smile remembering those forgotten days basking in the glory of your lineage.

bengali garam masala recipe

Heirlooms are meant to be treasured and so this special spice blend of garam masala. A trio of most fragrant spices when soaked in water for hours and then ground to a smooth concoction, the bata garam masala or the wet paste is then ready to test the hot smoking mustard oil. The pungency of mustard oil when intermixed with the flavors of spices and is enough to leave you enchanted for long time. Bata garam masala always scores better than the dry ones, a relict of past and how it shaped up the culinary scenario in a Bengali household might be another story for another time. However the quick dry pounding method is more akin to modernity something that makes our lives uncomplicated.

bengali garam masala

Cardamom from South India, cloves from Malacca and Cassia or cinnamon bark from Ceylon perhaps had exchanged some secret notes when they first met with each other on the Malabar coast – the hub of ancient trade routes, creation of a highly aromatic blend was destined to happen. Historians would argue perhaps that this spice blend of garam masala was an Indo-Islamic import from Central Asia, but then history is written by those who have tasted victory. Just like the way Aryan Invasion theory could not withstand the Genome theory, many such stories need to be retold from a different perspective.

Bengali garam masala spice blend
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bengali garam masala spice blend recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: spice blend
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 50gm
Ingredients
  • Cinnamon quills : 20 gm
  • Cloves : 20 gm
  • Green Cardamom : 15 gm
Instructions
  1. Measure the spices by weight and roast them separately on warm griddle for couple of minute.
  2. Take care not to burn the spices. Keep tossing them.
  3. Hand pound them on a mortar and pestle or use your coffee grinder or spice grinder to make a smooth powder.
  4. Pulse them till you get the desired fineness of the spice blend.
Notes
This is Bengali version of Garam masala. There exist other blends too like shahi garam masala, kashmiri garam masala or punjabi garam masala.
This blend of garam masala is highly overpowering, so use it in few pinches as requires.
Bengali garam masala can be used in both veg and non veg dishes.
The proportion of the spice blend is important.

Check the Bengali recipes archive for the dishes where I have used this special Bengali garam masala.

Happy Weekends

Sukanya

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Priya
    March 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Can smell the aroma of these incredible garam masala…Beautiful clicks..

  • Reply
    George
    March 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Really mouth watering, the Bengali Garam Masala. Simply irresistible..

  • Reply
    sunil deepak
    March 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Gorgeous pictures and that unusual blend of spices!

  • Reply
    Deboshree
    April 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Whoa. Yu just know how to make people feel hungry even when they have had a full lunch!

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      April 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Good to see you Deboshree here after long time.

  • Reply
    Hari Chandana
    April 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Wonderful recipe and awesome photography.. great job 🙂

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    April 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    oh how this recipe stirred our sweet memories too….back then as children we weren’t vegetarians….our mother used to put this for spicing up her Mangsho Kosha….a terrific blend of spices,thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      April 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      We use this spice blend for veg dishes too. infact after panch phoron this is perhaps Bengalis most favourite spice blend.

  • Reply
    Sandhya
    May 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This is such a flavourable masala…. We love bengali cusine at home… I m sure using this combo is going to b a secret spice… Let me make a smaller portion .. soon….

  • Reply
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    […] er dalna meaning potato, beetroot and carrot curry, with sweetness overloaded. Even the whole garam masala and bay leaves can not rescue that dish from going down to the trash.  But who will tell her the […]

  • Reply
    How to make Indian shahi Garam Masala spice blend
    August 7, 2017 at 8:51 am

    […] and some even add dry ginger powder , Kashmiri garam masala typically contains fennel seeds, and Bengali garam masala contains just three C (cinnamon, cardamom and cloves), khandeshi (Maharashtrian) garam masala […]

  • Reply
    Uday p dalvi
    September 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I was expecting elaborate method with atleast 10 to 12 spices like cinnamon, elaichi (2types), javiatri, nutmeg, black stone flower, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, star anise and cumin /coriander powder. Because i tasted golbari style kosha mangsho and inquired about masala and was told a about different spices. I actually wanted to learn the proportions
    Uday p dalvi
    updalvi @gmail.com

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