Garam masala is the central spice combination in a huge number of delectable Indian dishes! If you want to experience the best of homemade Indian cuisine, making your own fresh batch of garam masala is a great place to start. This fantastic blend is at its very best when it's freshly made, adding a wonderful, rich flavor and fragrance to your food, but like most spices, it will keep for a while in an airtight container too.

"Photo by Holger Casselmann"

Homemade Garam Masala

  • 4 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsps black cumin seeds (shahjeera)
  • 1 1/2 tsps dry ginger
  • 3/4 tsp black cardamom, about 3-4 large pods
  • 3/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon, about 2 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 tsp crushed bay leaves
  1. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat and roast all ingredients, except the ginger, until they turn a few shades darker. Stir occasionally. Be patient, since you want a slow, even roast inside the seeds and outside. Once the seeds are a bit darker, turn off the heat and allow them to cool.
  2. Remove the cardamom seeds from their skins and mix them back with all the other roasted spices.
  3. Grind them all together, to a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder (or with a mortar and pestle).
  4. Use it as you would regular garam masala! Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place. It should last for several months.
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