In my quest to preserve as much of my zucchini harvest as I can, I decided to try my hand at making chutney. The recipe calls for Garam Masala, which is a complex blend of spices that is insanely good when made fresh, particularly if you take the time to roast the whole spices and grind them yourself. Which is what I did.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with chutney, there are roughly a billion different types and recipes, ranging from mild herby yogurt chutneys through crazy pickley spicy chutneys. The zucchini-apple-ginger chutney I made this weekend is a rich, sweet, jammy, tangy, and heavily spiced (also hot-spicy) fruit and vegetable-based relish. It will be an amazing accompaniment for a zillion things — meats, curries, cheese, savoury pastries, etc etc. I expect we’ll have it first with roast pork or curried beef. And we’ll definitely bust it out for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as it will go insanely well with grill-roasted turkey.
Anyhoo…I’ll post the chutney recipe on Wednesday. This post is about Garam Masala.
Garam Masala recipe
This is really easy to throw together — it takes maybe 10 minutes all told, including 5 minutes to let the spices cool down.
- 1/3 cup coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp green cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 1″ piece of cinnamon bark, broken into pieces
- 1 dried red chile
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground mace (optional)
- Put everything except the nutmeg and mace into a dry pan and place over low heat. Stir the spices until they’re toasted and very fragrant — this usually takes 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the now-toasted spices on to a plate to cool for a few minutes, then put everything (including the nutmeg and mace) into a spice grinder (mine is just a simple coffee grinder I repurposed). Grind to a fine powder.
- Transfer spice blend to an airtight container (such as a mason jar). This blend will store for 6-8 months if it lasts that long!
- I break cinnamon sticks by placing them on a cutting board, covering with a layer of dry dish towel, and whacking it with the back of a chef’s knife.
- If you don’t already have mace on hand, don’t bother getting it for this recipe since you use so little — just augment with a bit more nutmeg.
I’m about an hour into cooking down the chutney, and our house smells ridiculously amazing right now. Oof. This is going to be so great.