General garam masala in India Curry Powder Masala Garam Masala

Are garam masala and curry powder the same thing?   

Nisha Singh
@nisha_singh | Updated 22 Jan. 2019

Nikita Agarwal
@nikita_agarwal | Posted 21 Jan. 2019

Curry powder is used as a seasoning, adding flavor and color to a dish. Common ingredients include cardamom, dried chile, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mace, nutmeg, red and black peppercorn, poppy seed, sesame seed, saffron, tamarind, and turmeric. Madras curry powder packs some heat.

Garam masala in India is also a blend of spices, one composed of fewer spices than the 20 or so-called for in traditional curry powder. Translated from Hindi, garam masala means warm or warming spice, referring to the warmth it adds to a dish.

Garam masala is used as a final seasoning in a dish, either stirred in at the end of the cooking time or sprinkled on top. Whole spices, herbs, and seeds are first toasted or fried in oil or ghee until they darken a bit in color and release their aromatic oil. The blend is then cooled and ground to a powder.

Both curry powder and garam masala lose their pungency quickly, which is a good reason to mix up your own blends.