Garam masala and Tandoori masala are commonly used spice blends in Northern India. Garam masala is more popular and widely used in most of the North Indian curries whereas Tandoori masala is more specific to cooking done in Indian clay oven called the tandoor.
Both these spice blends are famous spice blends of the Indian cuisine. In this post we compare and contrast them against each other.
While garam masala does not make any color change to the dish, tandoori masala imparts a reddish color to it.
Here is a point by point comparison of both:
|Garam Masala||Tandoori Masala|
|Garam Masala is usually added at the end after the dish has been cooked and is still hot.||Tandoori Masala is used like a rub to marinate like the barbeque rub on the meat.|
|Garam Masala adds earthy flavors and aroma to the dish it is added to.||Tandoori Masala has a salty, sour and hot flavor|
|Garam Masala does not make any color change to the curry it is added to. It only imparts earthy flavors and aroma.||It makes the dish reddish in color due to the presence of paprika,turmeric and sometimes artificial food coloring.|
|Derives its name from the “body warming” spices found in the garam masala. These spice improve metabolism and thus give body more warmth||Derives its name from an indian clay oven called the tandoor and it is used when cooking in tandoor.|
|Garam Masala is used in almost all north indian curries||It is never used for making gravies.|
|Even though the proportion and spices vary with the region, garam masala is generally made up of coriander, cumin, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, nutmeg, mace||Tandoori masala contains all the spices found in the garam masala and also contains ginger powder, garlic powder, kasoori methi(dried fenugreek leaves) and some red color|
|Garam Masala spices are sometimes used as whole spices as well and added at the beginning to hot oil. This is done so that these whole spices release their essential oils and flavors in the hot oil.||Tandoori masala is always used in the powdered form and its spices are never used as whole.|
Can we make tandoori masala from garam masala?
You can make tandoori masala from garam masala by adding the ginger powder, garlic powder, paprika and kasoori methi.
Can we make garam masala from tandoori masala?
No we cannot make garam masala from tandoori masala. While the tandoori masala spices and flavors are more tangy and impart a reddish color to food, garam masala has a warm earthy flavor that are not present in tandoori masala ingredients.
When to use garam masala and when to use tandoori masala?
Garam masala is added at the end of curries or any dish really at the end. It imparts and earthy flavor and is a flavor enhancer so use this when you want to add earthy flavors to your dish. Use it in moderation as excess use can make the dish bitter. Here is some more information on how much garam masala should you use.
While garam masala is used as a flavor enhancer and used in moderation, tandoori masala is used like a marinade for vegetables and meat. It is used in generous quantities to make sure its flavors penetrate the meat well. It has a tangy taste and adds a red color to the dish.
Use garam masala when you want earthy flavors and tandoori masala for marinating and tangy flavors.
If you are looking for more making your own garam masala then here is a tried and tested authentic family heirloom recipe.
Here is a complete post to know why garam masala is added at the end.
There are a lot of misconceptions about garam masala like its spicy and hot. But that is not true and this post lists in detail the flavor profile of the spice blend.