Garam Masala is an aromatic and hot spice mixture that is essential to numerous types of dishes in Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani cooking. The words mean "hot spices" and as well as adding the "heat" to Indian cooking, the spice mix should be subtle and aromatic. It is usually added towards the end of the cooking time, or even as a final garnish, unlike commercial curry powders that need to "cook" off the cornflour and other anti-clogging ingredients. This is my favourite Garam Masala mixture; there is no "standardised" recipe for this spice mixture, but I suspect that every Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani home will have their own "secret" mix! Grind the spices in smallish quantities to preserve the flavour and quality of the mixture, and then store in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight and heat. NB: Black cumin seeds are also called Royal Cumin or Shah Zeera. This spice mix makes a great gift - especially if you tie a recipe card around the neck of the jar with a whole piece of cinnamon!
- 30 green cardamom pods, seeds taken from
- 15 whole cloves
- 5 black cardamom pods (optional)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 5 tablespoons black cumin seeds or 5 tablespoons normal cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1⁄2 whole nutmeg, broken into small pieces
- Bash the nutmeg in a plastic bag with a rolling pin to break it into several smaller pieces!
- Remove the seeds from the Cardamom pods - again, a gentle bash with a rolling pin will suffice, or use a pestle and mortar.
- Place all the spices in a dry-frying pan or skillet and heat over a very low heat, stirring constantly.
- As soon as the aroma from the spices is released, remove the pan from the heat. (This step is essential to release the aromatic oils from the spices.).
- Working with only a small quantity at a time, put the spices in an electric blender or coffee grinder and grind them to a fine powder. (Takes about 30 to 40 seconds per handful of spices).
- Allow to cool. Store the Garam Masala in an air-tight container. As long as the container is tightly closed after each use, it should last for about 2 - 3 months with no adverse affects to the flavour and fragrance.
- Use as directed in recipes that call for garam masala.
Lovely smell wafting through the kitchen as I toasted the spice blend and smells absolutely authentic. Sprinkled a bit on my eggs this morning and will enjoy experimenting with it more. Thanks.
A wonderful spice blend. Thanks!
What an aromatic blend! I'm so glad I made this and look forward to using it on many occasions! I didn't have black cardamom, but otherwise did as directed. Thanks! Made for Looney Spoon Phoodies, ZWT#6.