Garam Masala

A lot of Indian dishes starts with whole spices tempered in hot oil and ends with a sprinkle of Garam Masala. Making Garam Masala at home is easy and a homemade garam masala is the key to any flavorful Indian curry.

What is Garam Masala?

It is an Indian spice blend that is very commonly used in Indian cooking. All the warm spices get toasted and then cooled down before you grind it. It brings a warm flavor to your dish and is said to also increase metabolism.

Is there one variety of Garam Masala?

NO! Most household will prepare garam masala at home and oven it gets their own twist based on what whole spices they have or like to use.

I grew up mostly enjoying Bengali Gorom Moshla  which used just three whole spices. You can find the recipe in this link.

Just how one dish can be prepared in several different ways in different regions of India, so are our spices and spice mixes.

Garam Masala 1

 

Taste and Flavor of Garam Masala

It’s warm, floral, hint of sweetness from mace flower and cinnamon, and mild heat from dry red chili and black pepper.

The whole spices I used for this masala recipe

  • Cumin Seeds
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom
  • Mace flower
  • Bay leaf
  • Black Pepper
  • Dry red chili
  • Star Anise

It is always a good idea to prepare spice mixes in small batches. With time, and longer shelf life, the aroma starts to vanish.

Also don’t prepare garam masala using powdered spice mixes. You need to roast these whole spices and then grind it to powder.

Whole spices used in Garam Masala

Indian Masala Dubba

Spices are very important to us Indians and we are very particular not only about the spices we use but also get emotional about our ‘masala dubba’ (Spice container). 

The most common Masala Dubba you will find in a steel round air tight container with 7 small containers inside it to hold the spices. 

Today I want to talk a little bit about Gitadini Masala Dubba. I have been using this Masala Dubba for 2 years now. It’s such an amazing product and I love the fun yin yang design.

Gitadini spice box Gitadini Spice Dubba stacked one on top of another

Little bit about Gitadini Masala Dubba:

The containers may look a little small to you at first, but they hold the exact same quantity than your regular steel Masala Dubba does. It is airtight and has 12 containers to store your regular spices along with two measuring spoons.

What I like the most is that, it’s divided into two separate dubbas which makes it easy to either place it next to each other or one on top of another.

Simultaneously you can also use these two containers for two different storage purposes.

Indian Masala Dubba in a beautiful yin yang design

Garam Masala

A lot of Indian dishes starts with whole spices tempered in hot oil and ends with a sprinkle of Garam Masala. Making Garam Masala at home is easy and a homemade garam masala is the key to any flavorful Indian curry.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Spice and Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: condiments, Indian spices, masala powder, spices
Servings: 1 /2 cup
Author: Playful Cooking

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ cup Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 tablespoons Green Cardamom
  • 2 Mace flower
  • 3 small Bay leaf
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 to 3 Dry red chili I used Kashmiri dry red chili
  • 2 Star Anise

Instructions

  • In a pan dry roast all the spices just until you hear the sizzling sound and the aroma starts to release.
  • Let the roasted whole spice cool down completely
  • Then using a dry spice grinder or a coffee grinder, grind it to powdered.
  • Store in your choice of air tight container or masala dubba.

Notes

Taste and Flavor of Garam Masala

It’s warm, floral, hint of sweetness from mace flower and cinnamon, and mild heat from dry red chili and black pepper.
It is always a good idea to prepare spice mixes in small batches. With time, and longer shelf life, the aroma starts to vanish.
Also don’t prepare garam masala using powdered spice mixes. You need to roast these whole spices and then grind it to powder.
Indian Masala Dubba in a beautiful yin yang design Indian Garam Masala in a small yellow container

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Comments are closed.

  • Kim M Croce-Modica
    Kim M Croce-Modica
    October 4, 2020 at 6:47 AM

    I would love to make this spice mis, but I am confused, your recipe says 1/4 cumin seed, 1/4 coriander seeds, but do not say 1/4 of what? Teaspoon, Tablespoon, Cup or is it in ratio to the rest of the ingredients?

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      October 5, 2020 at 4:11 PM

      Hi,
      So sorry for the confusion. I updated the recipe card again. It’s 1/4th cup.

  • Richa Raj Singh
    Richa Raj Singh
    September 4, 2020 at 3:19 AM

    Nicely Explain.

  • swati
    swati
    August 4, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    nice and easy, and homemade too, wow!

  • Ananda Rajashekar
    Ananda Rajashekar
    May 22, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    Fresh garam masala are just wow! can imagine flavour rafting all around!

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen
    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen
    May 21, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    Oh lovely. I make my own garam masala too. Have got laazy last couple of months. Thanks for inspiring me to make it again!

  • Lin Ann
    Lin Ann
    May 19, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m bookmarking it because I would love to try it and hope to find the time. It is one of my favorite and I agree that it smells amazing when cooking with it.

  • Curry and Comfort
    Curry and Comfort
    May 18, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe fro garam masala! I shall definitely try ti. : )

  • sally
    sally
    May 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Beautiful photos! This looks like a great mix of spices!

  • Meghna
    Meghna
    May 17, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Kankana…This post is just in time… I have never been a great fan of store bought Garam Masala. My Aunt makes the best and every time I visit, she packs a bag of GM for me. But I running low on it, so I am going to try making my own 🙂

  • Xiaolu
    Xiaolu
    May 17, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Thanks for this recipe — maybe I’ll make my own after my current store-bought stash runs out.

  • briarrose
    briarrose
    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Beautiful spice mix. I must give this a whirl.

  • aipi
    aipi
    May 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Anything homemade is unbeatable , I always use my homemade masalas ~ the aroma/taste is far better than the store bought ones ~ Love the clicks very much!!!
    US Masala

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking
    Sandra's Easy Cooking
    May 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    This is very nice! I love how you make things and get out with perfection!
    Fantastic photos as always!

  • Sarah Naveen
    Sarah Naveen
    May 16, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    A must have in my home…nice recipe..nice clicks..

  • Tina (PinayInTexas)
    Tina (PinayInTexas)
    May 16, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Kankana, just dropping by again to pass on The Sisterhood Of World Bloggers Award to you for being such a good blog friend!
    Best regards!

  • daksha
    daksha
    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    Home made is always best! kankana and the aroma is …….. u done very well this garam masala.

  • Joanne
    Joanne
    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Haha I totally think of cooking and blogging as my job as well! I’m not sure how my med school teachers would feel about that…but whatever! This sounds like a wonderful garam masala blend! I usually buy mine at a local Indian market but I’ll definitely try this next time I run out!

  • Anzelle
    Anzelle
    May 16, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Thanks for the recipe! I have trouble finding garam masala (especially of a trustworthy brand and in a small enough package), so being able to make it will be great!

  • Nami @ Just One Cookbook
    Nami @ Just One Cookbook
    May 16, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Wow! Homemade garam masara! I have one package at home which was from Indian store…. It’s a huge package and I don’t even know when I can finish using it all. With your spice mix, I can make fresh one just the amount I need for several occasions. I love it! Thank you for sharing this recipe – it’s going to be so useful!

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie
    Maria @ Scandifoodie
    May 15, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Great! I’m definitely saving this. I’ve made garam masala before but your recipe sounds so much better! Thanks so much for sharing!