Staple Corner: How to Make Your Own Garam Masala (Part 2)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
garam masala

Considering I keep so many staples on hand in my overstuffed kitchen, I was shocked to discover during dinner preparation that I was completely out of garam masala — is a key ingredient in so many Indian dishes. Thankfully, it is easy to make up your own fresh blend, which I have been meaning to do again anyways because the taste is far superior to store-bought blends and it keeps for a few months in a well-sealed jar. This flavorful, dark and rather complex and smoky blend is adapted from my treasured copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Inspired Indian cooks will not want to be without this extensive collection of recipes for legumes, grains, spice blends, appetizers and vegetables. Informative, charming and entertaining, you won't be lacking for ideas if you consult Mr. Iyer's cookbook.

Homemade Garam Masala

More recipes for homemade garam masala can be found here.

Homemade Garam MasalaHomemade Garam Masala
Recipe by
From 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 29, 2011

A dark, robust and smoky version of the famous warming and fragrant Indian garam masala spice blend

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1/2 cup whole dried red chillies, crushed
  • generous handful dried curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 3-inch sticks cinnamon, broken
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chilies, curry leaves, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, star anise, cinnamon sticks, mace, and toss with sesame oil.

  • Preheat a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the spice mixture and stir and fry for 5 minutes or until the spices darken a few shades. Transfer back to the bowl and let cool.

  • Blend the spices in coffee or spice grinder or in a blender until finely ground. Stir in the asafetida. Store in a tightly-sealed jar away from heat or light for up to 4 months.

Makes about 1 cup
Homemade Garam Masala

Other spice blends you may enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Chat Masala
Sambar Masala
Chana Masala Powder

On the top of the reading stack: Pure and Simple: Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine by Vidhu Mittal

Audio Accompaniment: Markus Guentner


Priya said...

Nothing will beat the homemade spice powder,flavourful garam masala..

Johanna GGG said...

smoky and complex sounds excellent - I can imagine you feel like your kitchen is empty without it. I guess you have a spice grinder? This is something I don't have which makes such mixes harder to make

Anonymous said...

LOL, where on earth do you get curry leaves? I'm from the Netherlands... :-)

Lisa Turner said...

I get them from an Indian grocery store. I live in Canada, so I don't know what to suggest, unless you go online and order them.