Garam Masala Ala Madhur Jaffrey

"I know that garam masala recipe often vary family to family and region to region. I couldn't say where this one is specifically from but it comes courtesy of the fabulous Madhur Jaffrey, her World of the East Vegetarian Cooking book. This is quite heavy in cardamom, so if that's not a flavour you enjoy, this might not be the mix for you. Note that when it says cardamom seeds, that doesn't mean the pods, it means the seeds inside."
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by breezermom
photo by Rinshinomori photo by Rinshinomori
Ready In:
3 tbsp




  • Place all the ingredients in the container of an electric coffee grinder and grind until even and powdery.

Questions & Replies

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  1. zookanflook
    Thanks for the recipe but I note that it is not exactly the same as the one Madhur Jaffrey gives in her two books that I own. The recipe in those books is as follows: Ingredients: 1 Tbsp (15 ml) cardamom seeds 1 tsp (5 ml) black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa)* 1 tsp (5 ml) whole cloves 1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns 1/3 of a nutmeg 2 inches (5 cm) of a stick of cinnamon bark a curl of mace many people add a bay leaf to the mixture Method: Put all the spices in a clean coffee grinder, spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Grind as finely as possible. Store in an airtight container. *NOTE WELL: Madhur Jaffrey's garam masala recipe given above calls for BLACK cumin and NOT the regular sort of cumin! What I am calling 'regular cumin'; is the seeds of the plant with the scientific name 'Cuminum cyminum' which is most often referred to as simply 'cumin'. By black cumin is usually meant the seeds of the plant with the scientific name 'Nigella sativa', although there are other seeds which are sometimes called black cumin. Refer to the following web page for a clarification of the terminology. Ref: Madhur Jaffrey also gives a recipe for Bengali garam masala in the book 'A Taste of India' (see reference below), which uses the following ingredients: 3 inches (7.5 cm) of a stick of cinnamon bark, 15 to 20 whole cardamon pods and 8 whole cloves. Bengali garam masala is prepared and stored in the same way as described above. The books to which I refer are as follows: 1. 'A Taste of India' by Madhur Jaffrey, published 1985 by Pavilion Books Ltd., ISBN 0-907516-88-2; 2. 'Madhur Jaffrey's Flavours of India' by Madhur Jaffrey, published 1995 by BBC Books, ISBN 0-563-37077-7 (paperback). PLEASE NOTE: I tried to format this post with some spacing and paragraphs to make it more readable but the system on this page rejects all attempts at formatting and reduces the text to a single dense block.
  2. Iggy C.
    You can't go wrong with this, especially when using in one of Jaffrey's recipes. But also any recipe that requires garam masala, unless you have your own favourite. Green cardamom suits me just fine. I would suggest a seperate coffee grinder than the one you use for your beans, as the spices are quite aromatic and may mess with your next few brews. Failing that, get a dedicated spice grinder, or do like I did and use a quality mortar & pestal and some elbow grease. Extra time required, totally worth it.
  3. asymetrix
    This garam masala is great. But dont forget to brown the dry herbs in a pan, cool then grind in a coffee grinder - try not to set to too high as the grinding action could burn the spices.
  4. breezermom
    This garam masala was easy to mix together, and tastes wonderful. I'm not sure about cinnamon bark, so I used a whole cinnamon stick. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as posted. Thanks for sharing!
  5. Rinshinomori
    This is another excellent garam masala recipe. Like many seasoning recipes, there are many regional variations and like magpie diner said, it's one of them with a pronounced cardamom taste. I used about 2/3 T cardamom seeds for this recipe and I could certainly taste cardamom as a predominant taste in this garam masala. Thank you for posting this excellent recipe. Made for Asian Forum India tag game Mar 2010.


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