Garam Masala/Indian Spice Mix

When you are passionate about your job, everything you do becomes more interesting. You may get tired at the end of the day, but you still feel satisfied and you are always looking forward to it.  You like talking about it, thinking about it and sharing about it with your friends and families. However, it will not stop you from cribbing about the job once in a while, and that’s ok.. because we are only human! 🙂

I cook everyday and that kind of makes it my job. It’s needless to say that I find so much pleasure in my tiny kitchen. Usually, I don’t take too much time in cooking and I consider myself to be a fast cook! But, there are days when I like to look at the vegetables and admire their color or texture, take the herbs in my hand and smell it for a while or just enjoy the aroma when the spices sizzle in a hot pan.

I was not like this before. I would just buy some common spices and throw a bit of everything in the pan. I didn’t even know that Garam Masala is a spice mix, let alone make it at home. And see what I did today !! I made Garam Masala at home. This is what passion does to you ! 🙂

It’s very easy to find Garam Masala powder in any Indian store but once you cook a dish with the home-made Garam Masala, you will never go back to the packet from the store. Even though Garam means “heat” and Masala means “spice”, this spice mixture is not really “hot”. It just add an extra flavor to your dish which brings it to a different level altogether. All these whole spices are different in it’s own way, and when you mix them together, they create a beautiful flavor profile. It is super easy to make and you can store the powder in a air tight jar for months.

There are wide varieties of Garam Masala across India and this is the version that I learnt from my mom.

Garam Masala/Indian Spice Mix

Garam Masala/Indian Spice Mix


  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup cumin seeds
  • 2 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs cloves
  • 2 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs green cardamom
  • 3 to 4 dry red chillies


  1. Dry roast each of these ingredients separately to a slightly darker shade. Make sure to dry roast in medium heat or else they will get burnt.
  2. Once all the ingredients are dry roasted, mix them up and let them cool down.
  3. Use a food processor,coffee grinder or a motor and pestle and and grind them to dust. I like to leave them little coarse and not fine dust.
  4. Store them in a air tight container.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Manu
    May 14, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Ohhh!!! I always use the ready made one… but would love to make it at home… I also have all the spices you mention here, so I will surely give it a go! I am sure it will taste much better than the store one! Thanks for sharing Kankana! Also… fantastic pictures… did you use any special light for them??? They are awesome! 🙂

    • Kankana
      May 14, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      Thanks Manu 🙂 No dear I didn’t use any extra lighting at all.. i don’t have any to use ! Normal day light .. i took the pics around 5:30ish and it was nice and bright 🙂

  • [email protected] in disguise
    May 14, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    As much as I love your recipes, I love reading the thoughts and insights you write even more..
    I totally agree with you..loving what you do makes life makes it joyful and worth living 🙂

  • yummychunklet
    May 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    What a great spice mix! Thanks for sharing.

  • Vimitha
    May 14, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    My mom makes this and bring it for me… Homemade is the best…

  • Krithi
    May 14, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    I love your passion of admiring spices… I too love to look at colorful veggies! Awesome flavor…

  • Faith
    May 14, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    You’re so right about being passionate about your work! It really gives so much happiness, doesn’t it?

    Garam masala is one of my favorite spice mixes and your recipe looks wonderful…bookmarking! 🙂

  • Tiffany
    May 14, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    So cool! I usually buy my garam masala… never thought to make it myself! What a great idea!

  • Tina (PinayInTexas)
    May 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Homemade is always the best, Kankana!
    With all the wonderful pictures and recipes you share, I can say that you are really passionate about cooking! Keep it up! :-*

  • Pri
    May 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Kanku …. 🙂 This looks so good. Cannot be more proud!
    Hey, do you remember a particular tomato chutni 😉 ?? Can you do one write up on that, jazz it up or ‘spice’ it up in your creative way and tell me how that turns out! 🙂


    • Kankana
      May 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Thanks babe 🙂 I emailed you !

  • Karen
    May 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Beautiful photos. I just ordered some garam masala, which I’ve never tasted. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Radhika
    May 14, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Even though I am such a everything “home made” freak, somehow I have never given Garam masala a try. Yours looks so colorful and spicy. I know for sure home made is the best and it is high time I give it a try..

  • torviewtoronto
    May 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    making garam masala at home is always better and aromatic
    lovely pictures Kankana

  • Tanvi
    May 14, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    You make your own garam masala? Wow..I used to do that when I came to US initially but later got lazy & started buying and stuck to it..I think u ve inspired to make my own again..I use some anise a nice aroma!
    P.S- I think all indians would have that cute steel mortar & pestle..I have one too 🙂

  • nisha
    May 15, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    there is no going back to store bought garam masala once uve tried the home made one..i totally agree..
    although i have never really been proactive enough to make them on my own at home, my mom in law did and she sent down quite a bit for using that although i do that as ration 🙂
    i shall keep this recipe to fall back on…whn im out of the stash 🙂

  • Priya
    May 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Nothing will beat the homed made spice powder, garam masala looks fabulous..

  • Raji
    May 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    The masala looks so nice…can imagine the aroma of curries made out of home made masala…fabulous.

  • ShopCookMake
    May 15, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    This recipe came at the right time. It’s nearly impossible to find it in Puerto Rico. I cook a lot of Indian food that calls for Garam Masala, so now I’ll be able to taste the true flavors. Thanks for sharing and as always, gorgeous photography.

  • Dewi
    May 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Nothing beat homemade garam masala. I like to make my own as well.

  • Roxana GreenGirl
    May 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Don’t you just love when cooking comes from the heart and not as a necessity at the end of the day? I never thought I’d become so passionate about baking.
    I love adding garam masala cu almost all the cauliflower and chickpeas dishes, gives it a little something that makes you ask for seconds. Never tried making my own, the store bought one came in handy. 🙂
    thanks for the recipe Kankana, I’m going to try next time I ran out.
    hope you’ll have a wonderful day 🙂

  • [email protected]
    May 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Looks beautiful!! Homemade is always the best way to go!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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! Check it out on thispost.
    Best regards!

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • briarrose
    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Beautiful spice mix. I must give this a whirl.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • sally
    May 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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

  • swati
    August 4, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    nice and easy, and homemade too, wow!