Basics [Garam Masala]

I’m sure some of you want to punch me. I use this ingredient frequently but have never offered a recipe.

Garam masala varies from family to family, but all blends have warming qualities.

One note: it’s very important to use whole spices when making any masala, as their flavours are substantially different than those of pre-ground spices.

Garam Masala

4.5 tbsp (25 g) coriander seeds
4 tbsp (31 g) cumin seeds
7 (25 g) 2-inch long cinnamon sticks
2 heaping tbsp (16 g) green cardamom pods
17 (9 g) black cardamom pods
1.5 tbsp (19 g) black peppercorns
1 heaping tbsp (6 g) whole cloves
6 blades (5 g) mace
2 bay leaves or tej pata

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds separately. Cool completely. Grind all of the spices in a clean coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

When grinding spices in a mortar and pestle, start with the ones that are hardest to break down. For garam masala, cinnamon is first. Then comes black cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and so on. Mace is last.

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14 thoughts on “Basics [Garam Masala]

  1. Garam masala has been my go-to spice for the past two years. It’s very versatile. I have used it recently on salmon, in a grilled turkey-apple-kale sandwich, and on sweet potatoes, just to name a few. I can’t get enough! Thanks for filling me in on the “official” non-premixed kind. I’ll try it.

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