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15 mins
Garam Masala Recipe

Garam Masala


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Garam Masala (from Hindi: गरम मसाला, garam meaning "hot" and masala meaning "mixture") is an easy-to-make spice blend that is at the heart of many, many Indian dishes. Garam masala is pungent, but not 'chili pepper hot' in the same way that chili can burn the palate. The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with a wide variety of 'mixtures' across India. Varying combinations of spices are used in different garam masala recipes in different regions and with varying personal tastes. Here, I've tried to create a garam masala mix that you can use in any of the Indian recipes at Chocolate and Chestnuts where garam masala is called for.

Garam masala is best made fresh just before you begin cooking but, if you want, you can make a larger batch and store it for several months in an air-tight container. Of course, you can always buy Garam Masala ready-made from your local Asian food store, but your own is always that much better!!

      Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients for Garam Masala

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
If you want to know more about Indian ingredients, check our Indian Spices and our Indian Pulses, Rice and Seeds pages.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
4 tablespoons
coriander seeds
1 tablespoon
cumin seeds
1 tablespoon
black peppercorns
1½ teaspoons
black cumin seeds (shahjeera)
3 - 4 pods
black cardamom
¾ teaspoon
¾ teaspoon
cinnamon (about 2x1" sticks)
¾ teaspoon
crushed bay leaves
1½ teaspoons
dry ginger


How to Cook Garam Masala

  1. Place all the ingredients except the dry ginger into a heavy-base frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Roast the ingredients (stirring occasionally) until they turn a few shades darker. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat in an attempt to speed up the process; the spices will simply burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside.
  2. When the spices are roasted (about 4 -5 minutes) remove the pan from the heat and allow them to cool. Once cooled, remove the cardamom seeds from their shells and mix them back with all the other roasted spices.
  3. Stir in the dry ginger then grind everything together in a clean, dry coffee grinder, to make a fine powder. Store in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container.

Remember to wash your coffee grinder well after making Garam Masala, otherwise you'll have some strange tasting coffee!!
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