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Spice Mixtures - India

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

India

The first requirement of an Indian cook is to become a good masalchi, or spice-blender. A masala is a blend of spices; it may contain two or three, or a dozen or more. It may be added to the dish, whole or ground, at different stages of cooking. For rice and some meat dishes, whole spices are traditional; the most common ground mixtures are the garam masalas (hot spices) used in northern cooking. A garam masala is usually added toward the end of the cooking time to draw out the flavors of the other ingredients and preserve the aromas. Indians have taken their masalas to other parts of the world where they have settled: Malaysia, South Africa, and the Caribbean islands. Curry powder originated in Chennai (Madras), where local cooks working for British households in the 18th century introduced Indian dishes to the newcomers.

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