30 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Garam Masala

by Rebecca Leib on 12 December 2013 4 comments

If you're a fan of Indian food, you're no stranger to garam masala. This well-known spice mix is the hallmark of many Southeast Asian dishes for being both versatile and flavorful! However, garam masala isn't limited to use in Indian dishes. Here are 30 delicious uses for garam masala! (See also: Are the Spices in Your Pantry Fake?)

1. Mayonnaise

If you find mayo delicious but a bit everyday, sprinkle in some garam masala to make your mayo spicier and all the more interesting. Then, use your mayo in everything from sandwiches to aioli to deviled eggs. When you spruce up those old mayo recipes with a dash of garam masala, and you'll look like a culinary genius to your friends and family!

2. Coffee

For a coffee drinking experience that's a little richer, take a sprinkle of garam masala to your coffee. It'll taste fresher and spicier when you brew it, not to mention the smell of the garam masala coffee blend will be divine! (See also: Top 5 Coffeemakers)

3. Popcorn

If you're feeling a little blah about your popcorn options, you may want to shake some garam masala on your popped kernels post-butter, or forego the butter entirely. In just a sprinkle, it'll make your popcorn go from boring to brilliant!

4. Apple Butter

This apple butter with garam masala recipe is easy to follow and makes one of the best apple butters I've ever tasted. Of course, most of the recipe's secret lies in the interplay between the apples and the key spice: garam masala. Garam masala makes the apple butter all the more fall-oriented and pretty much unforgettable. (See also: 23 Uses for Apples)

5. Broccoli Soup

This broccoli soup with garam masala is super healthy and absolutely delicious! Using a delectable blend of ingredients like garam masala, creme fraiche, maple syrup, almonds, broccoli, coconut milk, and sea salt, this soup takes great, clean flavors and mixes them expertly. Pair with a crusty piece of bread, and you have your lunch or dinner! (See also: 15 Ways to Prepare Frozen Broccoli)

6. Red Lentil Soup

Garam masala is a classic solution for spicing up lentils, so it's no wonder that this red lentil masala soup recipe is such a hit. This particular red lentil soup with garam masala utilizes the seasoning deftly, showcasing the nutrient-rich lentil flavor in a unique way. (See also: Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes)

7. Afghani Chili

To expand your repertoire for international cuisines, this Afghan chili recipe will be an instant hit! It's also an affordable dish because it uses ground beef combined with garbanzo beans.

8. Baked Potatoes

Try roasting, seasoning, or stuffing your potatoes with delicious garam masala as a change of pace! This stuffed baked potato recipe is great for parties or sporting events, and incorporates cheese, onions, and other delicious ingredients to make your potato the snack to remember! (See also: 10 Reasons to Eat Potatoes)

9. Hash Browns

Hash browns are a great canvas for experimenting with garam masala! Cook them up without spices (or with minimal spices), butter, or oil. While your hash browns cook, sprinkle in garam masala to taste. Pair with a couple eggs or some creme fraiche, and you're cooking gourmet!

10. Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and sweet potato pie never tasted so good! This roasted spiced sweet potatoes recipe certainly knows how to dress up a plain old sweet potato and give it a little wow factor. Try it for a Thanksgiving side dish, dessert, or at home for a nutritious meal!

11. Butternut Squash

There are lots of great recipes that pair garam masala with butternut squash to create a great fall dish. This roasted butternut squash soup with garam masala incorporates some other components like apples, white wine, and shallots. If you want, you can blend the ingredients to make a soup or keep them separate for a roasted side dish. Simple, cheap, and delightful — you'll never want to eat butternut squash without your garam masala again!

12. Green Beans

This simple recipe for masala green beans is great way to take green beans from everyday to excellent! With a side dish so deliciously unusual, you won't feel the pressure to do too much to your meal's other components.

13. Cauliflower

When it comes to utilizing cauliflower, this roasted cauliflower masala recipe is a great way to try out your culinary capabilities. Unless your cooking goes terribly awry, the end result will be fab! (See also: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies)

14. Vegetables

Use frozen veggies for this vegetable masala recipe to make it incredibly affordable and delicious! It's a great way to make vegetables more exciting. (See also: 25 Ways to Use Frozen Vegetables)

15. Baingan Barta

Baingan Barta — a Punjabi-style eggplant dish — is a traditional yet simple nod to the great garam masala. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables, mashed together. This version of Baingan Ka Bharta is super easy to make and is incredibly tasty. Serve it with your favorite Daal dish, and you'll have an Indian feast!

16. Samosas

Garam masala is key to a good samosa. The most popular snack in India, samosa recipes should be worked, perfected, and reworked for different ingredients, spices, and proteins. This samosa recipe is a great place to start. It's especially good because it's got our friend garam masala helping out!

17. Basmati Rice

Rice is a classic, tasty and budget-friendly side dish, but finding ways to kick it up can be challenging. This garam masala basmati rice uses garam masala to jazz up — but not overpower — the side dish! Serve your garam masala rice with beans or fish for a lovely, aromatic meal.

18. Chicken Breast

This garam masala seasoned chicken breast takes your standard cooked chicken to unique places! Serve it with a side of roasted or steamed vegetables, and you've taken an everyday meal to new, flavorful levels.

19. Chicken Tikka Masala

Easy slow-cooker recipes are a great way to make a hearty meal without much fuss. This great chicken tikka masala recipe fits the bill: a simple, inexpensive ingredient list and a fun option of utilizing cucumbers to cut the meal's spice with some cool flavors and temperatures! (See also: Top 5 Slow Cookers)

20. Murgh Makhani

We've established that chicken pairs wonderfully with garam masala, but if you're looking to go a little more traditional Indian with your flavors, you might want to try this murgh makhani. It's healthy and easy to make!

21. Cornish Game Hen

If you want to wow your dinner guests, then this Cornish game hen with garam masala is the recipe for you. Cook garam masala into your game hen in a way that's both unique and cost-effective (the biggest expense is the hen!).

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22. Minced Beef

This incredible minced beef with black eyed peas recipe is from Pakistan, but can be used alone, in salads, or with a starch.

23. Pork

This garam masala-rubbed pork is an excellent summer dish! Using the garam masala and incorporating light ingredients like raspberry juice, salad oil and chicken broth, this dish is a tasty way to do pork chops.

24. Gingerbread Cookies

Try including garam masala into your dessert dishes. This chocolate masala gingerbread recipe is just different enough to impress but not so much that it hurts the dessert's traditional flavor profiles.

25. Cupcakes

If you want to take your garam masala into the realm of sweet, this garam masala cupcake recipe should be your first priority! The batter is easy to make, and the cream cheese frosting is a perfect compliment to the cupcake's flavor. Delicious! (See also: Ultra-Quick Homemade Desserts)

26. Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Add some garam masala into a chocolate zucchini bread recipe, and you'll deepen the chocolate's presence in the recipe. As someone who never really liked zucchini bread (I tend to find it dry, not super flavorful), adding garam masala and chocolate has definitely made me a fan!

27. Shortbread

This brown sugar shortbread with garam masala recipe is extremely simple and fun. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters, and you'll have quite the holiday treat!

28. Carrot Pudding

Carrot pudding (or "gajar ka halwa," as its traditionally called) is light on calories (for a dessert) but rich on flavor. This simple recipe garnishes the already delectable dish with cashews. Delicious!

29. Apple Crisp

Have some leftover apples that you're dying to make into something delicious? Apple crisp is a good idea, but apple crisp with garam masala is an even better idea! Take your crisp to the next level.

30. Aam Panna

This Indian, mango-based drink is great for summer! Served chilled, the sour yet refreshing mix of mangoes, pepper, mint, and our friend garam masala make it a good choice for a picnic or barbeque. For a fun garnish, add a sprig of mint on top!

What's your favorite way to enjoy garam masala?

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Guest's picture
Krissi

Score! I love to cook, but haven't really done much with Indian spices until recently. I have some garam masala that I purchased for a recipe and had no idea what else I could do with the spice. I'm really excited to try the Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and the basmati rice recipes. Thanks for putting together such a good collection of recipes to use this spice in.

Meg Favreau's picture

Since garam masala is a spice mix, you can also make your own. This one at Epicurious is highly rated: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Garam-Masala-240907

Guest's picture
PurchaseWisely

It may take a few minutes and a few dollars investment in the spices (certainly cheaper if you buy them at an ethnic store), but definitely make your own garam masala. The recipe Meg listed is only one of many variations, but purchased garam masala falls far short of a mix made of spices you've dry-roasted yourself. Another way to use it is to sprinkle a little in raita (Indian cucumber-carrot-yogurt dip) to deepen the flavors. Just don't add too much or you'll lose the cucumber flavor!

Andrea Karim's picture

Yay, my go-to spice! So much easier to get food tasting good when you have this nifty mix on hand.