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!
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.
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!
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.
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 Recipe
Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
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
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!
USE GARAM MASALA IN: