Talk:Garam masala

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Every Indian cookery book I have read tells you to avoid the commercially produced garam masala mixes as their recipes have no traditional merit. small>—Preceding unsigned comment added by

  • So, how does "traditional merit" taste? Gene Nygaard 17:44, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Within the article there is initially a statement that garam masala ought to be added at the end of cooking to retain the aroma, while later on it is stated that adding at the end is a recent trend that does little for enhancing the dish. Which is it? This ought to be modified as it is quite confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

To the above poster--your question may have been addressed in the text since you asked it--I understood from reading the article that commercial, pre-ground spices tend to lose its pungency on the shelf, and so to keep any of their flavours at all, they get added last. However, whole spices, ground on the day of cooking, have more flavour to give to the dish in the first place, and are added at the beginning so that they may do so. I'm willing to bet that the recent trend of late addition relates directly to the use of pre-ground commercial spices to begin with! Rootlet (talk) 19:03, 22 January 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rootlet (talkcontribs) 18:41, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Garam masala vs. CurryEdit

What is the difference between this mix and curry? Is it just the hot chili powder? Is garam masala basically just hot curry?

  • Check the article curry for starters. Curry is a very ambiguous term with a number of different meanings including a spice mixture, a powder, a certain leaf/plant, a sauce, a dish made with a curry sauce, etc. Garam masala is a very specific spice mixture. It may even be in some dishes that people would call a curry. - Taxman Talk 19:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Also, the page on Coriander claims that coriander is a key spice in garam masala, what's the truth in this claim, and as it seems it would be a traditional, not commercial variant on the masala, why is it not included?
  • Every curry powder manufacturer also uses "a very specific" mixture of spices and each manufacturer has her own blend, just like garam masala in India. 'Curry powder' is the equivalent English term for garam masala, being a non-Indian spice mix intended to taste like an Indian spice mix. Both are generic terms for a spice misture except that as stated in the article garam masala may contain whole (unground) spices as well which is never the case with curry powder. Spices added in sequence to an Indian dish are not garam masala. The term does mean a mixture but ideally Indians believe it should be ground just before use. However, like the rest of the world, they are willing to use convenience foods if they don't have the timne or inclination to do it themselves. Of course there are other spice mistures that are not curry powder such as 'Five spice powder'. The word 'curry' on its own means a dish flavoured with curry powder or Indian spices, not the powder itself.


Hey, thanks to whoever put up the recipe. We're trying it right now. Proportions seem to be lacking, though--are we just supposed to use equal amounts of everything? Any advice? Chris Combs 21:35, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Right, cause recipes are what wikipedia is obviously for. On that note, why the fuck are there recipes in this article? Do I misunderstand the purpose of Wikipedia, or are they completely out of place?

When to add the spices while cookingEdit

One part of this article says "it is often added at the end of cooking, so that the full aroma is not lost." - basically that it is not as good if you add the spices before the end. However, another part says "Adding garam masala at the end of cooking a dish is a recent trait, and does little to enhance the dish, as the flavour chemicals in the spices need to be extracted into fat/oil/ghee for their full flavour to be released." - which says the opposite, that if you add the spices at the end, it will not be as good. 12:53, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

  • I’ve added the contradiction template to the section. According to Google Translate, the Italian and Dutch versions of the article both say that it’s usually added at the end. (Italian: “The garam masala can be used during cooking, but, unlike other spices, is often added at the end of cooking, so that the aroma is not dispersed.”; Dutch: “It is often the last added during cooking so the smell and taste is preserved.”) The Wikibooks Cookbook has nothing to say on the matter. —Wulf (talk) 08:31, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • One needs to keep in mind that the different language wikipedias copy from each other all the time. As a translator myself, I add material from other language wikipedia articles constantly. This can quickly result in misinformation being widely disseminated if sources are not verified which appears to be a ubiquitous problem. It can also result in a loop effect where material that was originally copied from English Wikipedia (which has the largest number of articles) is treated as a verifiable source because it is found in other languages. Mike Hayes (talk) 15:23, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I have added some information (in my own words) found in The Cooking of India, by an Indian author, from the outstanding Time-Life series Foods of the World which contains two examples of dishes where the sequence of spice additions is critical and cannot be reduced to some pat statement like 'beginning' or 'end' so that readers understand the concept better. Mike Hayes (talk) 15:30, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject class ratingEdit

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 17:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Another contradictionEdit

The opening paragraph stated that garam masala usually conatains caraway. The final paragraph states that caraway is a forein spice and not used in Indian cooking. The website Khana Khazana (a famous Indan cooking show) has the following to say:

'If you ever find references to caraway in books about Middle East, Indian or Far East cooking, then the most probable explanation is a translation mistake and you should probably read cumin. The same holds for the appearance of caraway in several Bible translations (see pomegranate for details). Use of Caraway Seeds in Indian cuisine is limited. Typically it has been used in some regions for flavoring rice dishes like Pulao.'

I have therefore removed the mistatement from the opening paragraph. Mike Hayes (talk) 00:29, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

What language is it fromEdit

The article currently says the term is from garam ("hot") and masala (a mixture of spices) but it doesn't say what language it's from. Hindi and/or Urdu seems likely, but I don't know.