Garam Masala

Garam Masala

I have been wanting to try getting into more Indian cuisine for a while now. The one thing that I noticed right away was that a lot of recipes called for garam masala. Garam masala is a blend of ground "warm" spices and I figured that it would be a nice place to start exploring Indian cuisine. Finding a recipe for garam masala turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be as there seems to be an infinite number of variations. I looked through a many of them and decided to go with a pretty basic blend of some of the more common components of the garam masalas that I had seen. I have learned that it is a good idea to toast the spices to bring out their flavour. Once the garam masala was all toasted and ground it had a really nice aroma. The garam masala at this stage did have a nice warm taste to it. It was fun toasting and grinding up my own garam masala and now I look forward to using it.

Ingredients:
1 stick cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg seed
1 1/2 tablespoon cardamom pods
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon cloves

Directions:
1. Toast everything in a pan one at a time until fragrant.
2. Grind everything in a grinder.

Garam Masala

Recipes that use garam masala:
Cashew Chicken Curry
Butter Paneer Masala
Egg Curry
Asparagus with Garam Masala, Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts
Grilled Tandoori Chicken
Garam Masala Roasted Halibut in a Tomato Curry Sauce
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

37 comments:

Jeanine said...

Wow, blending your own spices now, way to go, Kevin! I can imagine those spices together smell pretty good. Can't wait to see what dishes you create using this blend!

Manggy said...

Wow, thanks for this recipe Kevin! I've been avoiding making garam masala because some of the recipes I've seen use both black and green cardamom pods-- not very friendly to my pantry! :)

Rindy R said...

Wow Kevin - You are one dedicated chef. I am completely impressed with your spice blending - can't wait to see the dish you make with it.

Esi said...

Cool! What kind of grinder did you use?

Jaime said...

wow, you made your own? i'm super impressed! you should try the chicken tikka masala recipe in my blog - i think you'd quite enjoy it :)

Jen Yu said...

Kevin, I'm totally impressed. I was craving Indian food several months ago and when I couldn't find Garam Masala in the stores, I contemplated making my own but... too lazy. But you make it look so easy! You're an inspiration :)

Dee said...

This is a pantry staple for me. Have you decided what you're going to cook yet?

Jan said...

Wow - I've never even thought of making it from scratch. Can't wait to see what you're going to cook using it!

Paula said...

This looks like a great spice mix. I bet your kitchen smelled wonderful as you were toasting the ingredients! Looking forward to seeing what you create with it!

noobcook said...

wow you're now making your own spice blend!! U are incredible!!

HoneyB said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with this!

Adam said...

Good luck with the Indian food. That spice mix is everywhere in their food. You're def lucky to find fresh spices like that.

VeggieGirl said...

Such a wonderful, flavorful spice mixture!

OhioMom said...

I really like these spices blended together, can't wait to see what you cook with them.

Robin said...

I always spend a lot of time getting the seeds out of the cardamom. So I'm surprised to see you using the whole pod?!?!

Elra said...

Kevin,
I admire your adventurous in cooking. How about join this even about cooking around the world. Since you cook almost everyday, it be nice to cook food from another part of the world once a week, plus it is a good way to learn the culture through its cuisines. If you interested, here is the website http://www.mykitchenmyworld.blogspot.com

jodycakes said...

Most excellent...I love Indian Food - one of my fave's - thanks for an easy, go to recipe

noble pig said...

I love this spice, I make one of my fave chicken dishes with it...thanks for posting this.

Sweet Bird said...

I've been tinkering around with making my own curry spices so it's great to see an easy blend for garam masala. I usually just buy a blend of whole spices from my spice merchant and grind as needed.

Btw, your grind looks nice. Do you use a coffee grinder to grind your spices? And if so, how did it handle the whole nutmeg?

This, like so many of you recipes, is being immediately bookmarked!

Kevin said...

Esi, Sweet Bird: I used a cheap coffee grinder to grind up all of the spices. I broke the cinnamon sticks into pieces that fit in the grinder. The grinder had a bit of trouble with the nutmeg but it was eventually able to get most of it ground. There were a few bit of the nutmeg that did not grind and I picked those out.

Zen Chef said...

This is great stuff! Nice recipe.
Love the picture too. For some reason ground-up spices are very photogenic.

Gloria said...

Kevin I really love spices and the smell....so good, xxGloria

We Are Never Full said...

thanks for this great post. people forget that these so-called 'exotic' sounding spices (ie: garam masala and ras el hanout) are nothing more than a bunch of spices many people may already have in their homes blended together! i'm keeping this one... thanks for this!

Alexa said...

Hi Kevin,
Did you purchase a coffee grinder for that purpose? Someone once told me that to clean it out in between grinding different spice mixtures, you put in 1 tbsp of rice and grind it for 30 seconds. It seems to work really well. I love indian spices and your pictures are beautiful. I look forward to seeing what you make with it.

Kevin said...

Alexa: Yes I got the coffee grinder for spices. The rice tip is a good one! I have used it and it works well.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Wow Kevin! I also want to make my own! I can't wait to see all you cook with it! I guess I could do it since I have all the spices, but I'll just wait for your ideias! I love the photo!

meeso said...

Mmmmm, Indian food is gooooood! Your Garam Masala looks awesome, enjoy!

Pam said...

I don't like the premade garam masala all that much, but I bet your fresh made is excellent!

redmenace said...

The asparagus looks so good and I love the pics. I have an Indian cookbook and EVERY recipes calls for this spice. You're off to a good start!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

grinding your own spices is such a big level up! you sure make it look simple!

Deborah said...

I would love to experiment with Indian cuisine, but my husband doesn't care for it. I'll have to experiment when he's not hungry!

Pearlsofeast said...

Wow excellent masala recipe.Bookmarked and nutmeg adds a distinct flavour.

Anonymous said...

just a tip instead of putting the nutmeg into the spice grinder you could grate it. i got a nutmeg grinder in Crate and barrell a few years ago. the grater was cliped onto a small container and all the shavings fell into it.

Nirvana said...

I've always wanted to make my own garam masala but have been too overwhelmed with all the different variations so just used the store bought variety... You have inspired me to give it a try :)

She'll be apples said...

Thank you for this post... I've been looking for garam masala, but then with this recipe, I can make my own :)

msmeanie said...

Hi Kevin, Thank you for this recipe! This spice is used so often in Indian dishes, it is really nice to know how to make it. I linked to your recipe from my blog. Thanks again!

Amrita said...

Hey,

I really enjoyed your blog being a foodie :)
Well, just a suggestion here regarding garam masala.
In India, generally we use black cardamom for garam masala powder which is used in curries tandoors etc. Whereas green cardamom is used for desserts mostly.
Another tip, in curries/gravies requiring garam masala you can add 1-2 whole bay leaf when the oil is hot before putting any other ingredients. Similarly garam masala can be put whole along with bay leaves in the begining (of course not nutmeg which can be added as powder) instead of using powdered garam masala.

Best

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