Garam masala and masala (a mixture of spices) is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The word garam refers to intensity of the spices rather than capsaicin content.
While “garam masala” literally means “spicy hot mixture” of dried spices. A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in significant quantities as a food additive that imparts aroma, colour and flavor to food preparations, sometimes mask undesirable odours and at the same time possess several medicinal and pharmacological properties. They act as tonic, carminative, stomachic, diuretic, and antispasmodic.
A typical Indian version of garam masala contains: black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black and white cumin seeds, black, brown, and green cardamom pods
Some recipes call for spices to be blended with herbs, while others for the spices to be ground with water, vinegar, coconut milk, or other liquids, to make a paste. In some recipes nuts, onion, or garlic may be added. The flavours may be carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect, or a single flavour may be emphasized. A masala may be toasted before use to release its flavours and aromas.
The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste, and none is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.
Apart from enhancing the taste and flavor of food, spices have been widely believed to exert digestive stimulant action.
Spices stimulate gastric function: spices influences salivary, gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions, terminal digestive enzymes of small intestine and help in digestion.
Intensify salivary flow and gastric juice secretion.
Stimulates the liver: They induce higher secretion of bile acids which play a vital role in fat digestion and absorption.
Stimulates pancreatic enzymes: spices affect the activity of pepsin, trypsin, increases pancreatic lipase, amylase activity.
Influences digestive enzymes of small intestinal mucosa.Reduces food transit time.
Improves the palatability.
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