Garam masala, that quintessential ingredient that is the secret behind delicious curries and vegetable dishes. I think every North Indian family has a family recipe. Most of such recipes are passed down in the family and work with andaaz (roughly translated means approximation). My mother used to make garam masala at home after painstakingly roasting each spice and then pounding it. The house would smell heavenly on that day. And the garam masala tasted more potent and smelled better than any store-bought stuff that I bought. Of course, the convenience angle makes me buy those too.
A few friends asked me for my garam masala recipe. So here it goes. This will make about 150 gms. garam masala. That usually lasts me 3-4 weeks. You will need lesser quantity of this compared to the store-bought stuff. Like I said, this stuff is more potent.
So here it goes:
5 tbsp. coriander seeds
3 tbsp. cumin seeds
2.5 tbsp. black peppercorns
2 tbsp. green cardamom
3-4 black cardamom
4-5 inch sticks cinnamon
10 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Lightly roast each of them on a low flame till aromatic. This helps their essential oils to come out and brings out the flavour and fragrance. I did not have nutmeg this time so skipped it.
After roasting, cool the ingredients down and pound them in a mortar or pestle or if you are feeling lazy like me, just use your blender.
Keep this powder in an airtight container. It will last you for 2-3 months if you don’t use it before that. You can store it in the fridge if you wish to use it longer. Though, fresh masala powders do lose their freshness and aroma if kept around for so long.
Make a lesser quantity if you do not use it regularly. Use about 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. for a spicy hit to your curries.
Let me know if you try my recipe and like it.