How to Make your Own Garam Masala – An Indian Spice Blend

I love Indian spices, I use them a lot in my cooking from bean and lentil dishes to snacks like honey roasted nuts or Chai Tea in the winter (watch out for a recipe as it gets colder). Garam masala is a mixture of roasted ground spices commonly used in Indian cooking. There are many versions of garam masala using different spices like cloves, whole peppercorns and cinnamon. You can add it to sweet or savory dishes and it keeps for a long time.

After you toast the spices, use a coffee grinder or blender and grind until finely ground. I don’t mind a little elbow grease so I used my mortar and pestle and hand-ground it myself. It may not be as finely ground as if placed in a machine, but I love this traditional and rustic method.

Toast spices in a small pan until fragrant.

Use a grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until fine.

Homemade Garam Masala Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, or 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves

    Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add all the spices in the pan to toast. Shake the pan every few seconds and toast the spices for about 2 minutes. The spices will have a nutty aroma and turn reddish-brown, and the bay leaves will get brittle. Make sure not to burn everything.

    Transfer the spices on a plate to cool. When they’re cool to touch, pour the mixture into a grinder or use a mortar and pestle and grind until fine. Store in a sealed container for up to two months.

    Total Time: 10-15 minutes

    Yield: Makes about 1/4 cup
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    2 Responses to “How to Make your Own Garam Masala – An Indian Spice Blend”

    1. Stephanie @ Hugs, Kisses and Snot October 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

      I LOVE garam masala. I never knew what it was until recently when I made coconut chicken curry and it called for this spice. Now I use it ALL the time…curry, roasted root veggies, banana bread, pancakes…you name it and I have found a use for it.

      • Barb October 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

        Thanks for the comment Stephanie!

        Agree, garam masala is awesome and I use it for so many dishes. Have you tried making your own?

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