Garam masala, an Indian spice mixture, lends signature flavour to many of Vij’s dishes. Make your own ? see Vij’s Garam Masala Mix (below) ? or purchase a pre-made masala from an Indian grocer.
VIJ’S GARAM MASALA MIX
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 11/2 tsp (7 mL) each whole cloves, black cardamom seeds (about 7 pods) and 1/2 cup (125 mL) cumin seeds over medium-low. Stir constantly until cumin seeds turn dark brown, 10 min. Remove pan from heat. Let cool 20 min. Place roasted spices in a coffee grinder or blender. Grind until the mixture looks like ground black pepper. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground mace and nutmeg. Blend well. Mix will keep well in an airtight container up to 6 months. Makes 3/4 cup (175 mL).