Garam masala, literally "hot spice" in Hindi, is a term for a mixture of spices used in Indian cooking. Many commercial brands are available, but keen cooks can grind and blend their own. This ensures freshness and means you have control over the quality and quantities of the individual spices. There is no one 'official' recipe and many Indian families have their own variety. Make your choice from the list of spices below, and grind them together with a pestle and mortar, spice mill (or pepper mill), or electric coffee grinder. Make small quantities, and store in an airtight container for no more than six months.
Other common ingredients:
Yield: 460 grams (ca. 1 lb.)
- 15 grams dried bay leaves
- 75 grams black cardamom seeds
- 40 grams green cardamom seeds
- 20 sticks cinnamon, 2.5 cm. in length
- 20 grams cloves
- 35 grams coriander seeds
- 20 grams cumin seeds
- 90 grams cumin seeds
- 25 grams fennel seeds
- 15 grams ginger powder
- 20 grams mace
- 70 grams black peppercorns
- 15 grams rose leaves
- Keep in an airtight jar in a cool, dark, place and grind prior to use.
- Note that all ingredients can be roasted except the dry ginger, till they turn a few shades darker. Leave the cardamom in their pods until later.
- Do not be tempted to speed up the process by turning up the heat as the spices will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside.
- When the spices are roasted turn off the flame and allow them to cool.
- After the cardamom pods have cooled, crack them open and remove the cardamom seeds and mix them with the other roasted spices.