A little of this warm, spicy blend goes a long way. Coming from North India, where meat is eaten more frequently than in the South, it is the kind of masala that’s popular as an accompaniment for almost any meat dish, as a condiment or in the sauce.
• 2 1/2 tablespoons green cardamom pods
• 4 tablespoons cumin seeds
• 5 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 1/4 teaspoon ajowan seeds
• 3 blades of mace or 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches long
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Remove the cardamom seeds from their pods, then toast them with the cumin, coriander, and ajowan seeds. Grind toasted ingredients with mace, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf, and mix with the other ground ingredients.
— David Merrill is managing editor of The Herb Companion and a great lover of spicy foods.
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