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Roasted Garam Masala

Garam Masala Recipe 1

As the weather cools, we tend to SPICE up our food. Fall is a wonderful time to explore the limitless depths of Indian flavors. This easy homemade Garam Masala Recipe is the perfect way to add a kick to your favorite autumn dishes!

Garam Masala Ingredients

Indian flavors are a comfort to me, warming my belly and soul. The fragrance of dark earthy spices conjures up hazy memories of rickshaws, colorful markets and old friends. The colors and rustic flavors of Indian cooking awaken the senses and complement many fall ingredients such as pumpkin, butternut squash, apples and root vegetables.

How To Make Garam Masala

What is Garam Masala? A north Indian spice blend that literally translates “hot mix.” That’s not to say that Garam Masala is always HOT. There are many variations of Garam Masala, however the base generally consists of cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and cardamom. The emphasis on “hot” is completely optional. I like to add a little heat to mine, but not so much that it takes away from the other flavors. In this batch I used tiny Piquin peppers for an extra punch!

Homemade Garam Masala 1

People are often perplexed by how to incorporate Indian spice blends into their meals. Garam Masala, I believe, is the most versatile of Asian spice blends because of the strong reliance on cinnamon.  Just for kicks, try Garam Masala in: Hot Chocolate, Spiced Nuts, Cookies, and Dry Rubs.  You won’t be sorry.

Homemade Garam Masala Recipe

Why Should You Make Your Own Garam Masala?

  • Cost. A 2 ounce jar of Garam Masala can cost around $7 a pop. Yet, if you use restraint at the grocery bulk bins, you can buy the ingredients to make 1/2 cup for about $1.50.
  • Freshness. Roasting your own spices releases the oils in each spice, bringing the flavors to the surface.
  • Flavor. There is no “official” Garam Masala recipe, because it is made to taste. Making your own, allows you to adjust the heat and ingredients to your liking.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala Recipe

Yield: 1/2 cup

Prep Time:5 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

Ingredients:

3 Tb. coriander seeds
3 Tb. cumin seeds
4 tsp. peppercorns
2 pieces dried ginger
1 Tb. green cardamom pods
3 whole star anise
2 tsp. cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 whole (small) nutmeg
1 dried cayenne chile (or 1 tsp. Piquin chiles) *optional

Directions:

Pour all spices in a large skillet and place over medium-high heat.

Toast and toss for 5-10 minutes until the spices are slightly darker and the aroma is strong.

Pour the spices into a coffee or spice grinder (or GOOD food processor) and grind to desired consistency. Course ground for rubs and fine for curries and baking.

Store in an airtight container for months.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

Garam Masala Recipe 3

USE GARAM MASALA IN:

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57 Responses to “Roasted Garam Masala”

  1. Francoisposted October 31, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Mouth watering.
    Thanks for sharing this. I hope it incite many to try their hands at mixing their spices to create unique blend to flavor their meals. It is so easy and the result is way above any pre-mixed and pre-grounded product on the market.

    Reply

  2. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted October 31, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I so want to be able to smell that right now! I’ve heard it’s really good in tea as well.

    Reply

  3. Roxana GreenGirlposted October 31, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I love using Garam Masala but have never made my own. Seemed easier to buy some from the Indian store. Thanks for sharing a homemade version Sommer.

    Reply

  4. Fresh and Foodieposted October 31, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I love the idea of making spice blends from scratch, and you’re right — this one is perfect for the crisp weather.

    Reply

  5. Cookin' Canuckposted October 31, 2011 at 8:24 am

    LOVE this, Sommer! Garam masala adds such a wonderful depth of flavor to so many dishes and the fresh stuff always tastes the best.

    Reply

  6. Bev Weidnerposted October 31, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Seriously. OMG. This is my most favorite spice ever. I’m FREAKING OUT.

    Reply

  7. Jeanetteposted October 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I love garam masala, but I’ve never made it from scratch – I can only imagine how much more fragrant it must be than the preground kind.

    Reply

  8. Julie M.posted October 31, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I would have never thought to make garam masala from scratch. Great idea Sommer!

    Reply

  9. Marlyposted October 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Those spices looks so beautiful…it’s a shame to grind them up. But I guess that’s the best way to enjoy them. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply

  10. Isabelleposted October 31, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’m just starting to discover Indian food at home, and I’m amazed at the huge difference a homemade spice blend can make… definitely a huge step up from the bottled stuff.
    Love the idea of using this blend in a pumpkin spice cake. That’s going straight to the top of my must-bake list! :)

    Reply

  11. Heleneposted October 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I’ve never made my home. What a great idea. It must be so fragrant.

    Reply

  12. Asiyaposted October 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Love the pictures! Homemade Garam Masala is much better than the store bought and makes a huge difference in the taste of the food. Mine is a little difference. I also add black cumin and don’t use ginger, star anise and dried cayenne chilli! I also roast and grind my own coriander and cumin powder too….

    Reply

  13. Kathy - Panini Happyposted October 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I fell in love with garam masala this year – I want scented candles in this fragrance so it can fill up my house! Well, I guess toasting my own blend might have the same effect. :-) My new bottle from Penzeys arrived last week but next time I’d love to try your approach.

    Reply

  14. Diane {Created by Diane}posted October 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

    oh that sounds wonderful!

    Reply

  15. Lizposted October 31, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Oh, how beautiful!!! Love your photos of the spices…truly lovely. And the scent must be fabulous…

    Reply

  16. Catherineposted October 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Clever! Thanks for the post!

    Reply

  17. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted October 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    awesome one!! Fantastic photos

    Reply

  18. Angie's Recipesposted October 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I do love homemade garam masala! Not sure about the cost advantage, but freshness and flavours are unbeatable!

    Reply

  19. Karenposted October 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    What a wonderful blend of spices. This would liven up any recipe!

    Reply

  20. Alaiyo Kiasiposted October 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing your recipe for Garam Masala. I learned, a few years ago, that in India, there are many recipes for Garam Masala since many people make it with spices that they prefer. Great photos and close-ups of the spices. I can almost smell them.

    Cheers,

    Alaiyo

    Reply

  21. Cassieposted October 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Beautiful photographs! I love having recipes for things like this at home. It sounds wonderful!

    Reply

  22. Desposted October 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I am loving this! I use garam masala quite a bit. I’m going through bottles all the time. This could make things quite a bit easier. Thanks or sharing the recipe!!

    Reply

  23. Sneh | Cook Republicposted October 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Inspired! Your garam masala looks fantastic! Must have a nice kick to it.

    Reply

  24. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted October 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    These photos are lovely! And that garam masala looks so great! And I bet it tastes and smells even better!

    Reply

  25. Soniaposted October 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Happy Halloween to you……! Hope having fun today and this garam masala is looking superb. thanks for sharing this recipe, too perfect to add indian flavors to any dish. I loved the addition of star anise in it, will try it soon…. !!!

    Reply

  26. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted October 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    WOW! Look at that…Simply gorgeous, Sommer. So fragrant and delicate! Love it :) Have a great week ahead!

    HUGS <3

    Reply

  27. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted October 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    BTW, I love every single pic :) Happy Halloween!

    Reply

  28. carolinaheartstringsposted October 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    This post inspired me. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply

  29. Susan in the Booniesposted October 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Your photography is lovely!

    I got my recipe for Garam Masala from Cooks Illustrated.

    Reply

  30. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted October 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I love all the close ups of the spices, they are really beautiful.

    Reply

  31. Laurenposted October 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    YES! Thank you for this recipe! Making it yourself seriously is the much cheaper alternative!

    Reply

  32. Savoriqueposted November 1, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Your colorful photos of the spice blend before processing are superb! Glad the cayenne pepper is optional because my vegetarian mouth is quite sensitive to this thing.
    I usually put Cognac XO into my old fashioned hot chocolate for a special kick but I’ll try garam masala now ;) Thank you.

    Reply

  33. A Little Yumminessposted November 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Great minds think alike :) I was just contemplating making my own garam masala. You beat me to it! :)

    Reply

  34. Dmarieposted November 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I actually have some of this stuff in my spice cabinet, but hadn’t the foggiest what to do with it. thanks for the suggestion, Spicy…will def try it soon in some hot cocoa!!

    Reply

  35. torviewtorontoposted November 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    this masala looks aromatic

    Reply

  36. Monetposted November 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’m always so inspired when I see someone take something like spices and turns them into a beautiful photographic journey. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a beautiful Wednesday full of laughter and love.

    Reply

  37. Sophieposted November 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

    What a terrific idea to make your own garam masala!! waw!!

    I am so going to make this! yum!

    Reply

  38. Kristenposted November 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I love making my own spice blends, too. I haven’t tried garam masala at home yet. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Reply

  39. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidenceposted November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Mmmm, I LOVE garam masala. Such a wonderful spice blend. I make spiced mixed nut each year and I always add some garam masala.

    Reply

  40. marlaposted November 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Those whole spices are so pretty! Must get my hands on some star anise & make my own masala!

    Reply

  41. Magic of Spiceposted November 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Love the spices you have used here for the garam masala, and really love that they are toasted! I can just imagine the amazing aroma :)

    Reply

  42. Tiff @ Babes and Kidsposted November 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    How cool and unique!

    Reply

  43. Amy @ Gastronome Tartposted November 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I wish I had this recipe a couple of months ago when I actually bought the stuff :( This one looks so much better!

    Reply

  44. Charlieposted March 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Love the look of your spice tin. Can you buy them online?

    Reply

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  51. メンズ ugg ブーツposted December 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better!

    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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  53. keluargasonyposted March 23, 2014 at 6:27 am

    I wa looking for small batch recipe of garam masala, and your article really made my day hehe

    Have a nice day

    Reply

  54. keluargasonyposted March 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I just made it, and smell so strong haha.. no wonder this spice called hot spice.. it is really strong, hot and so “indian” for my nose.. would be agreat dish cooked with this spice.
    I made 1/2 batch of your recipes, and its alot.. i skip dry/powder ginger, because i only have fresh one.. so ill add more fresh ginger on the recipes..

    Thanks alot author..

    Reply

  55. Club Nintendoposted May 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new
    project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

    Reply

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