Garam masala adds a blast of rich, savoury flavour to any dish…beverage, confection…?

At Novotaste, we love food & flavour. As flavour producers, we have the privilege of working with everything the food industry has to offer. We get hands-on experience with the entirety of the food spectrum – whether it be baked goods or beverages, dairy or vegan products, confectionery treats or coffees & teas – and our finger is constantly on the pulse of the industry. It is our great pleasure to present the latest, hottest trends and to adapt them to your needs. Whether it is a twist on a classic, an emerging flavour or something never seen before, we are at the forefront of flavour. Here is some original content from the Novotaste team:

Only 15 years ago, Indian restaurants were still considered “taboo” in the Canadian culinary world (globe and mail). Since then, however, Indian cuisine has emerged as one of the top 5 most popular ethnic foods in Canada [chef pencil google analysis]. Characterized by complexity, diversity, richness and depth, it is no surprise that Indian flavour has taken such a meteoric rise. Indian cuisine has the uncanny ability to capture a spectrum of tastes and sensations and deliver them as one wholly satisfying experience. It is like taking a lightning bolt to the tongue.

Among the innumerable and nuanced offerings that originate from India, there is one that is leading the pack in North America: garam masala. Literally meaning “hot mixture”, garam masala is a spice blend known for its warming properties and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to provide “digestive fire”. What is particularly impressive from a culinary standpoint is the ability of this spice blend to capture 6 taste experiences – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent – all in delicate balance.

Garam masala, as all great foods should, varies regionally and even within homes, with different household cooks honing their own perfect recipes. Although it generally consists of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, it is usually much more complex, containing anise, pippali (Indian long pepper), coriander seeds, malibar (bay) leaves and mace. To add to this complexity, in some regions the spices are ground into a paste, using water, vinegar or coconut milk as a base. In some instances, the blend is smoked or roasted. Even this ingredient list is likely to be lacking, with so many added nuances and personal touches giving each blend its own unique DNA. No matter how one makes garam masala, one thing remains true: a little goes a long way in bringing intense flavour.

To those unfamiliar with Indian spices, garam masala is sometimes confused with curry (see article below). Although both are popular Indian spice blends and both are delicious, they deliver two wholly unique flavour experiences. Curry, a blend based on turmeric, is typically golden yellow and possesses a deeper savory profile whereas garam masala is sweeter and spicier, because of its cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove.

Garam masala adds a blast of rich, sweet and savoury flavour to any dish. Besides its more traditional uses, this blend is fantastic in soups, potato sides, chili and even (believe it or not) baked goods, like cupcakes, shortbreads and gingerbread cookies.

Novotaste has developed a characteristic garam masala flavour useful in almost any application. It is our take on this trendy, distinctive spice mix. And if you are feeling adventurous, check out some of our more exciting takes on this classic blend, listed below. Remember, we can always tailor our flavours to your specific palate. Reach out to us today for a sample!

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