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 has been perfected over the years and has become a staple in my kitchen.

Homemade Garam Masala

More recipes for homemade garam masala can be found here.

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

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

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1/2 cup whole dried red chilies, 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
  • 1/2 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 Suresh 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.