India’s rich cultural diversity manifests splendidly in its spectrum of food delicacies and it is one of the reasons why Indian food outranks that of other cuisines in the world. Each Indian state has its own distinct flavours and ingredients that work amazingly to allure you into their spell. Indian foods have the unique characteristic that makes it truly desi due to it profuse use of spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamom, jeera, star anise, dhania, bay leaves, nutmeg, peppercorn to mention a few.
Khada masala or garam masala is the quintessential Indian spice blend that is used in a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Khada masala comprises a number of Indian species which are ground in specific quantities and used while cooking conferring aromatic flavour to the curries. However, there is no fixed recipe in making of this masala as every Indian household prepares the masala as per their own taste and liking. It is one of the most widely used masalas in the Indian cuisines and it also offers umpteen health benefits. Also Read: 5 Incredibly Healthy Spices Loaded With Nutrition
The health benefits of khada masala are valued to each of the individual spices in the mix. There is no standard recipe for garam masala, the benefits vary as per the recipe, and a pinch of this aromatic masala is enough to grant the dish its flavour.
Garam masala or khada masala simply means “a hot mixture of spices”. Where hot refers to the blend's used in Ayurvedic medicine for heating up the body. These spices are used to kindle the digestive fire making it easy for the system to digest the food. As per the Ayurveda, garam masala brings six different kinds of tastes when added to the curry. These are a taste of peppercorn, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, cumin and cardamom. The taste of cinnamon is warm and sweet, while pepper is warm and cardamom is sweet. Khada masala comes with so many powerful ingredients that offer a ton of healing health benefits. Also Read: Cinnamon: 5 Ayurvedic Benefits of This Health Promoting Spice
Ingredients In Khada Masala
Khada masala is made by dry roasting all the spices and ground them into a fine powder. The main ingredients of garam/khada masala vary a bit between regions however, the most common blends are:
- Black pepper is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that renders relief from respiratory ailments.
- Cardamom is one of the most vital components in the spice mix, which possess potent antioxidant properties and acts as a digestive stimulant.
- Cinnamon is a potent spice with a sweet and woody flavour, it greatly helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Cloves is one of the penetrating spices with a bitter and astringent flavour, that is well-known to boost liver health and strengthens bones.
- Coriander is an integral spice in the Indian dishes that adds extra flavour. It remarkably reduces blood sugar spikes and cholesterol levels.
- Cumin abundant in iron and beneficial plant compounds helps to combat inflammation and promotes weight loss.
- Nutmeg is highly prized for its aromatic and curative properties. It is beneficial in treating digestive and nervous disorders.
Incredible Health Benefits Of Khada/Garam Masala
Adding garam masala to the dishes has the power to stimulate appetite and enhance the digestion process by releasing gastric juices in the stomach. Cloves and cumin added in the khada masala keep indigestion at bay and also help in alleviating acidity. Apart from this pepper, jeera and cardamom also help in improving digestion, boost metabolism and treats other gastrointestinal woes.
Khada masala is well-known to strengthen the immune response of the body. The unique blend of ingredients helps to treat common cold, cough and fever. A hot cup of masala chai helps to clear out phlegm from the body and ease chest congestion. The powerful ingredients in garam masala are valuable in removing toxins from the liver and known for detoxifying the system. Besides these, khada masala increases the blood circulation and oxygen supply to different parts of the body and slow down premature ageing.
Promotes Heart Health
A storehouse of antioxidants, khada masala helps in combating free radical damage and avert oxidative stress thereby optimising cardiac functions. The potent anti-inflammatory property of khada masala helps in lowering cholesterol levels and maintain HDL cholesterol. Cardamom in garam masala aids in controlling blood pressure and lowers the risk of stroke. Reap the wellness incentives of garam masala by relishing masala tea to restore heart health.
Garam masala abounds in antioxidants and other essential nutrients scavenge free radicals and reduce inflammation. Cloves, in particular, have proven to enhance normal cell function, inhibit the formation of tumour cell and control early stages of lung cancer. Moreover, the rich array of nutrients in khada masala reduces the risk of colon cancer by cleansing the intestine and reduces bloating, gas and acidity when added in a regular meal plan.
Fights Bad Breath
Several pieces of evidence have disclosed that ingredients in garam masala are potent to ward off bad bacteria and prevent tooth decay. Nutmeg in khada masala kills several bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Cloves are also beneficial in averting gum diseases like gingivitis, while cardamom averts dental carries and freshens breath.
Uses of Garam Masala
Garam masala is a blend of a rich array of herbs and spices that delivers a ton of healing health incentives. Cloves added in garam masala aid in maintaining the teeth healthy and make the gums stronger, thereby ensuring bad odour and tooth decay are averted. Adding garam masala in the cooking supports to improve the appetite. Cinnamon in garam masala is a good source of fibre that aids in restoring digestive enzymes and stimulates smooth digestion. A hot cup of masala chai is beneficial in promoting concentration levels and alertness.
Side-Effects of Masala
Garam masala is safe and well-tolerated for most healthy people. But for some people, any one of the elements like pepper when added in a large amount may cause itching of the skin and rashes and a burning sensation in the mouth. Diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting are also observed in a few people. Bloating is another issue that some people may face when they have added an excessive amount of garam masala in the cooking. Furthermore, the quality of garam masala is associated with the purity of spices added, certain spices may be treated with chemicals and this may be harmful to the body.
Khada masala or garam masala is a fiery spice that boasts flavour and offers incredible therapeutic benefits. The treasure trove of essential nutrients in khada masala helps in promoting digestion, boost metabolism, triggers immunity, lowers the risk of chronic diseases and freshens breathe. Reap the wellness incentives of this flavourful spice blend by adding in dishes or simply sip on a warm cup of garam masala chai.