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Garam Masala Recipe

Garam Masala RecipeOur North Indian garam masala recipe is a family treasure my mother-in-law gave me permission to share. Like most recipes, it was passed down through the generations. Her mother learned how to prepare it from her grandmother, who then shared it with my mother-in-law and her sisters. And now I have the honor of sharing it with all of you. Use this aromatic spice blend to season kofta, korma, and goat or beef curry.

Our garam masala recipe on a plate for display.

Back in the day, my mother-in-law and her family prepared everything a month ahead of time. They didn’t have the convenience of going to grocery stores on a whim as we do. Instead, they would buy what they needed for a month at the market. Once home, they sifted rice, pickled the fruits and vegetables, and toasted and ground the spices for spice blends like garam masala.

WHAT IS GARAM MASALA?

Garam masala means “hot spice,” in English, but not because it’s spicy; it refers to the warming spices and the process of toasting before grinding them. While you can buy garam masala in stores, homes have a family-treasured garam masala recipe they use.


The specific spices and their measurements differ, but the preparation is always the same. Measure out your whole spices, toast them on a pan, and grind them into a fine powder. Store the leftovers in a mason jar and preserve them for many meals to come!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Black Cloves: Warm and woody, black cloves subtly sweeten the spice blend.
  • Black Cardamom: Black cardamom has a menthol aroma and pungent taste.
  • Mace: Mace is frequently a bridge between savory and sweet in baked goods and spice blends.
  • Nutmeg: Nutty and sweet, nutmeg compliments other spices in the mixture.
  • Cinnamon Stick: Broken down and toasted, the cinnamon stick releases all of its aromatics and flavor.
  • Cumin Seeds: Whole cumin seeds are left out of the recipe card, but we always pair them with our garam masala. I know this will make my Type A friends want to scream. The number of cumin seeds you add will depend on the dish you’re preparing, and that’s why we suggest toasting those separately from the other garam masala ingredients.
Ingredients for our garam masala recipe

HOW TO MAKE OUR GARAM MASALA RECIPE

Break down the cinnamon stick, then combine it with the other ingredients on a skillet. Dry roast the spices for 2- 3 minutes over medium heat to draw out the flavor and aroma of the whole spices.

Allow the ingredients to cool some, then add them to a spice grinder in batches, blend until fine. Add the garam masala to an airtight container.

COOKING TIPS

  • Roast the spices on low heat so they retain their flavor.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of these recipes that use garam masala!  

Our garam masala recipe on a plate for display.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • STORAGE – Once ground, store the spice mixture in an airtight container. Keep the spices in a cool, dry place; the spice will keep for 4-6 weeks.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What is in garam masala?

I use only five ingredients for this garam masala recipe, but as I mentioned, there are many ways to prepare garam masala, and every region and every home has its own combination of spices. The list could go on and on, but here are some whole spices you can include in a garam masala recipe: green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, black cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nutmeg, mace, bay leaves, black peppercorns, star anise, dried ginger, asafoetida powder, caraway seeds, and fenugreek. 

Try our Pakistani-inspired Garam Masala as a replacement for the store-bought version.

What does garam masala taste like?

I use only warming spices in this recipe for garam masala. The cloves, black cardamom, mace, whole nutmeg, and cinnamon create a smoky sweetness with a bit of a kick.

Can I use ground spices to make garam masala?

You can, but it doesn’t mean you should. Ground spices oxidize over time and they lose a lot of their flavor. If that’s all you have then go for it, but you can’t beat using toasted whole spices.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Our garam masala recipe on a plate for display.

Garam Masala Recipe

Tressa Jamil and Ami
Our North Indian garam masala recipe is a family treasure my mother-in-law permitted me to share; use this spice blend to season kofta, korma, and goat and beef curry.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Spice Blends
Cuisine Indian
Servings 10 Tablespoons
Calories 7 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 grams black cloves
  • 5 grams black cardamom
  • 5 grams whole nutmeg
  • 5 grams cinnamon stick, broken down
  • 1 gram mace

Instructions
 

  • Break down the cinnamon stick, then combine it with the other ingredients on a skillet. Dry roast the spices for 2- 3 minutes over medium heat to draw out the flavor and aroma of the whole spices.
  • Allow the ingredients to cool some, then add them to a spice grinder in batches, blend until fine.
  • Add the garam masala to an airtight container.

Notes

Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1 TablespoonCalories: 7kcalCarbohydrates: 1gSodium: 4mg
Keyword garam masala, garam masala recipe
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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