Are you ready to add some delicious flavor to your cooking? Look no further than garam masala! This amazing Indian spice blend can really take your dishes to the next level with its warm and deep flavors. The great thing is that it’s easy to make exceptionally fresh and fragrant garam masala at home if you have access to a handful of quality spices.
This recipe originally comes from Prachi Grover of Orange Kitchens, who graciously shared her own mother’s version of garam masala for the Taste Of The Place cookbook. I’ve modified the recipe slightly by first toasting the spices and reducing the volume.
- 4 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons black cardamom pods (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons green cardamom pods
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 6 bay leaves
- 10 (2-inch long) cinnamon sticks
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 a whole nutmeg, grated
- Place a medium-sized, dry skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, black cardamom pods, black peppercorns, green cardamom pods, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks to the skillet while it warms. Stirring constantly, toast the spices until they become fragrant, just a couple of minutes. Keep a careful eye on things! Spices can go from toasty and fragrant to burned and bitter very quickly. Transfer the spices to a bowl or plate to allow them to cool slightly.
- Once the spices have cooled to the touch, grind them to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. You may need to break the cinnamon into smaller chunks by hand before grinding in a spice grinder.
- Stir in the ground ginger and grated nutmeg.
- Transfer to a dry airtight container.
- Sprinkle it over your favorite Indian dishes or anywhere a warm spice blend would be a yummy addition.
- Your fresh garam masala will keep for several months before it begins to lose its fragrance and flavor.
Black cardamom, while related to green cardamom, has a distinct smoky aroma and flavor. It can be challenging to find. If you can’t find any, rather than adding more green cardamom, simply omit it from the recipe. Your garam masala will still be delicious!
Garam masala is potent, so start with a small amount and add more if needed.
To keep your garam masala fresher longer, store it in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture. In other words, don’t store it in a spice rack above your stovetop.
Would you like to learn more about Indian spices in general? Hop over to my Guide To The 15 Most Common Indian Spices post and start your reading!
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: spices
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: garam masala, spices