One of the most ubiquitous and essential spice mixes in Indian cuisine, garam masala – literally, hot spices (which refers to the way the whole spices are treated, and not because they will make you cry in pain!) – is found in every Indian kitchen.
While the basic premise stays the same, there are as many variations with regard to ratios as there are regions in India.
Here then is my blend, which I began to play around with when we lived in Fort Kochi, and have since perfected it... to my own taste, at least! I encourage you to develop your own personal blend too!
How To Make Garam Masala
- 3 tbsp cardamom pods bruised and split
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 pieces nutmeg flower (aka mace)
- 2,5 cm piece of cassia bark
- 1 tsp Black mustard seed
- ½ tsp ajwain seeds (aka carom)
- Place all the spices in a hot skillet, and roast for 2-3 minutes over a medium-high heat, until they start to give off their perfume.
- Transfer to a mixie, or a spice or coffee grinder, and blitz until you have a fine powder.
- Stored in an airtight jar, out of direct sunlight, this will keep for a month or so.
- If you can get it, long pepper works exceptionally well in garam masala (use instead of peppercorns); I smash it before roasting though, in order to release the oil, plus ensure it doesn’t break my spice grinder!
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml