Garam Masala

Note: COOK the STORY may receive a commission on purchases made through Amazon/affiliate links.

Making your own Garam Masala is simplified by using ground spices that you likely have in the pantry. If you’re looking for a more traditional version, I have included that as well.

Making your own Garam Masala is simplified by using ground spices that you likely have in the pantry. If you’re looking for a more traditional version, I have included that as well.

If you’re not familiar with Garam Masala, it’s a spice blend that’s used extensively in Indian cuisine in dishes like curries and pilafs. Garam translates to “hot” and masala to “spices.”

Recipes for garam masala are varied and can indicate the region of origin. Generally a spice blend reflecting origins in Northern India is pretty mild and uses peppercorns as the heat-giving spice. As you travel further south in India, the spice blend tends to gain a little more heat from red chiles.

The recipes for garam masala not only reflect a region, but oftentimes are handed down through family members and create a deep sense of pride.

Some of the typical spices used to make a garam masala blend are:

  • Black pepper – contributes heat
  • Cardamom – this spice is native to India and provides a floral note
  • Cinnamon – adds a warm, familiar flavor
  • Cloves – this gem from Indonesia is very potent and adds at tingly warmth
  • Coriander – this seed is from the cilantro plant and adds a savory, crisp flavor
  • Cumin – used as widely as black pepper, this spice provides an earthy and savory flavor
  • Nutmeg – adds a slight sweetness

Variations of the recipe can include dried red chiles, bay leaves, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, saffron, star anise, mustard seeds, mace, or turmeric.

Traditionally, the blend is made by toasting whole spices and grinding in a spice grinder – AKA a coffee grinder used only for spices. To simplify the recipe, I use ground spices, but have included a more traditional version using whole spices if you would like to give it a try.

 

Print

Garam Masala


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/4 cup

Description

Making your own Garam Masala is simplified by using ground spices that you likely have in the pantry. If you’re looking for a more traditional version, I have included that as well.


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Store is in a sealed spice jar or small mason jar away from heat and light.

Notes

Whole Spice Version of Garam Masala

  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, about 1 and 1/2-inches
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Place all whole spices in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat until fragrant. Stir often and keep and eye on the spices so that they don’t scorch. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before grinding them in a spice grinder. Stir in the fresh ground nutmeg and cayenne if using. Transfer to a spice jar or mason jar, seal and store away from heat and light.

Making your own Garam Masala is simplified by using ground spices that you likely have in the pantry. If you’re looking for a more traditional version, I have included that as well.

Leave a Comment





Fill your busy life with great food!

Sign up to get my quick recipes and useful tips by email and receive my slow cooker ecookbook as a free thank you gift.