Sunday, August 18, 2013

Garam Masala - Homemade goodness!!

When I was a newbie at cooking, I always resorted to using store bought spice mixes, especially garam masala. As I progressed, I realized that the secret to getting that authentic taste in curries, is freshly roasted home ground spices, just like mom made it.

The recipe of garam masala varies in every household. The basic ingredients in any garam masala would be the 3 c's - cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (green ones). Then you can add some other spices of your liking such as nutmeg, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (this is especially good for non vegetarian curries), black peppercorns, star anise, mace, etc. Some even add coriander seeds and red chillies, but I add them separately in my curries. Here is a recipe that I made today, the measurements is a guesstimate. You can look at the photo above and understand the proportions too.


Green cardamom seeds - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch stick
Cloves - around 20 of them
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Mace - 2
Star Anise - 1
Black cardamom - 1


Heat a wok to medium heat, and then reduce it to medium low. Put in all the spices into it.

Gently roast the spices for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring so as not to burn them. The smell will start to emanate from the spices. Once you start to see a light smoke appearing, stop the heat. Keep stirring as the wok is still hot and the spices underneath can burn. Once the wok's heat has reduced significantly, wait for it to cool completely.

Then roast all the spices in a spice grinder.

Store in an air tight container, in a cool dry place.