I have a package of whole garam masala and would love recipe ideas. I know I can toast it slightly (seeds, leaves, sticks) to activate the aroma before grinding into powder for curries with cream and butter, but I'd prefer low-fat. How about sauteeing onions, garlic, ginger, reducing tomatoes, adding yogurt as a base for curry, plus the garam masala? Should I add it early in sauteeing or late in simmering?
Lots of recipes suggest just a pinch of garam masala at the *end* in addition to other seasonings, but isn't garam masala lots of seasonings already, so can't it be used early and without other seasonings? Can I mix it as is and consider it good to go as the main punch in the sauce? Or would I be missing important depth by omitting something?
Lastly some say it tastes too clove-y and cinnamonish for curry even though it's widespread in Indian cooking and there are countless versions of garam masala. How to balance that sharp clove-iness?