Garam Masala


Garam masala is a blend of ground spices used extensively in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines.  The word “garam” refers to “hot” and “masala” means “a mixture of spices”.   The ingredients of garam masala differ regionally. The components of the mix are usually toasted to bring out more flavors before grinding.  A little pinch of garam masala near the end of the cooking or right before serving adds more flavor to the dish.

Prep Time: 5 min       Cooking Time: 10 min


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup coriander seeds
  • 4 whole green cardamoms
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick


  • Place all the ingredients in a dry skillet over medium heat.
  • Roast spices gently and stir constantly until fragrant and several shades darker.  Do not turn up the heat to expedite the process as the spices will burn outside while leaving inside uncooked.
  • Remove from heat. Set aside and let cool before grinding.
  • Put the spice mixture in a spice grinder in batches and grind the spices to a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place for up to 3 months

Alternate Approaches

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place all the ingredients on large baking sheet and roast until the spices become very fragrant, about 5 minutes.

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