This fragrant, warming medley of toasted spices is widely used throughout Indian cuisine.
There is no hard rule to a garam masala recipe, as the ingredients vary according to region and chef. The term just means "spice blend," and like with many spice blends, there is plenty of potential for customization. Typical ingredients include coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, through other common spices include turmeric, ginger, star anise, saffron and more.
You can see garam masala in curries, paired with proteins and vegetables, and also in some unexpected areas that call for a savory note, like a cocktail.
Market research firm Datassential reports that although garam masala appears on less than 1% of American restaurant menus, it has jumped nearly 50% in the past four years.
Click through the slides to find out more about this Flavor of the Month and learn how it’s being used in restaurants.