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

Garam Masala

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

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.

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

  1. In a pan dry roast all the spices just until you hear the sizzling sound and the aroma starts to release.
  2. Let the roasted whole spice cool down completely
  3. Then using a dry spice grinder or a coffee grinder, grind it to powdered.
  4. 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

Did you enjoy this Garam Masala? 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
    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 Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      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 🙂

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise
    [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 different..it makes it joyful and worth living 🙂

  • yummychunklet
    yummychunklet
    May 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    What a great spice mix! Thanks for sharing.

  • Vimitha
    Vimitha
    May 14, 2011 at 7:04 AM

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

  • Krithi
    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…

    http://krithiskitchen.blogspot.com

  • Faith
    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
    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)
    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
    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! 🙂

    Love
    Pri

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      May 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Thanks babe 🙂 I emailed you !

  • Karen
    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
    Radhika
    May 14, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Kankana,
    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
    torviewtoronto
    May 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

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

  • Tanvi
    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 also..gives a nice aroma!
    P.S- I think all indians would have that cute steel mortar & pestle..I have one too 🙂

  • nisha
    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 me..love using that although i do that as ration 🙂
    i shall keep this recipe to fall back on…whn im out of the stash 🙂

  • Priya
    Priya
    May 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM

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

  • Raji
    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
    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
    Dewi
    May 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM

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

  • Roxana GreenGirl
    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 🙂

  • Kate@Diethood.com
    [email protected]
    May 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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! Check it out on thispost.
    Best regards!

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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

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

    Beautiful spice mix. I must give this a whirl.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

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

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

  • 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. : )

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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

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

    nice and easy, and homemade too, wow!

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

    Nicely Explain.

  • 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.