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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GARAM MASALA WITH THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF'S BASIC RECIPE - ESSENTIAL IN MEDIEVAL SPANISH COOKERY

Cinnamon Stick, pepper corns, mace, cloves and cumin
Basic spices for Garam Marsala
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast pólvera dulce (sweet powder or sweet ground spices), OCat pólvores de duc, Hindu garam masala   (from  garam ["hot"] and masala [mix]), Marrocco ras-al-hanut, Eng garam masala.  By the 15th century, it was known in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Napoles (then under the rule of Aragon). It is believed that it was also recorded an anonymous Venetian cookbook from the late 15th century where they are identified as specie dolce (sweet spices).  

Although now bought in prepared form in supermarkets, any wealthy medieval household it could make it by finely grinding spices. Each family had its own recipe but basically it is a mixture of cardamom seeds, a cinnamon stick and black pepper, cumin, cloves and a pinch of nutmeg. It can be stored in an airtight container up two months. Sugar could be added. Today, chili and paprika may be added. It
is used to season meats and vegetables. It is often sprinkled over a dish before serving.


Nola gives two recipes for this spice mixture. Although Nola titles the first one Poluoza de duque  Pérez changed the title to:  Especias de ipocras, “ is basically a garam masala variation used when in making hipprocas with  ½ red wine and ½ white wine white, seehiprocrás. Spices include
cinnamon, cloves, ginger and sugar. The second recipe, which is titled Poluoza de duque de otra calls cinnamon, cloves, sugar and ginger. 

Garam Masala Spices Ground
Photo by: Lond-Williams
Hieatt points out that this is an example of how people in medieval times did not “drown” food in spices. Very little of each ingredient is used and measurements were dependent of the dish being prepared. It must not be forgotten that spices were for the rich and even for them, they were expensive. Further, it was considered an art to season food is to enhance the taste. Drowning it with spices any dish from any period in history. 

[Anón/Grewe. 1982:CCXX:216: Ap è III:236; ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: ftn 9; ES: Fàbrega. Jan 20, 12; Glos. May 23 03; ES: Lord-Williams. Medieval. Cardomomo. Aug 16, 12; ES: Lord-Williams. Medeival. Escrúpulo. April 18, 2014; ES: Wikipedia “Garam Masala.” Oct 9, 14; “Glossary.” The Congo.  Dec 27, 03; Hieatt. Pleyn.1976:xix; Nola.1989:xiii-1:xiii-2; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:185:191:206]
 

ONE OF THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF’S BASIC GARAM MASALA RECIPES

Ingredients

Garam Masala Sprinkled on Beef Before Serving
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

Preparation

Grind all the spices together. Store in an airthight container. Use for seasoning meats and vegetables. This will keep at room temperature for two months.




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