Make this homemade Garam masala recipe or spice blend and have it on hand to make all your curry dishes whenever you want to. This easy homemade spice mix requires just a few ingredients you may already have in your pantry or you can easily get at your neighborhood grocery store or online.
My Garam masala Spice recipe is made with ground spices and herbs. No toasting of whole spices needed though I included steps to using whole spices in this post. It gets ready in 5 mins.
What is Garam Masala?
Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices that has it origins rooted in India. It’s a spice blend usually called got in recipes in that region. Garam mean hot (in the sense of warm not in the sense of being spicy.) Masala means a mix of spices.
Though the individual spices that combine to make Garam Masala are easily accessible in most grocery stores, the spice itself is mostly found online or in Asian Stores.
If inaccessibility of this unique spice mix has been keeping you from making a variety of Indian curries like Chicken Tikka Masala or Butter Chicken, I am happy to show you how to make it in the comforts of your home.
What is it made of, What are the Ingredients?
Different regions in India have different ingredients they mix to make Garam masala but there are basic ingredients that are in the spice blend like cumin and coriander other ingredients include the following
- Ground Black pepper
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Cayenne powder or Chilli powder
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Cardamom
How to make Garam Masala
This is an overview of the recipe with step by step photos. Full recipe list and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Spice blends are the easiest things to make and this Indian spice is no different. Luckily there is really no toasting of whole spices in this recipe. (if you have access to whole spices, I will share how to make it with whole spices further below)
- Pic no 1; Measure out your spices
- Pic no 2; Mix the spices together with a whisk or fork.
- Pic no 3; use immediately or transfer to a clean and dry spice bottle for later use.
Recipes with Garam Masala, how to use it.
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Indian Curry Chicken
- Butter Chicken
- Pimp up your plain basmati rice made on the stove top or instant pot with a sprinkle of this amazing spice blend
- Tandori chicken
How to make it with whole spices
To make Garam Masala with whole spices, you will need a good coffee blender (this is the one I use)
The wholes spices needed are
Follow the directions below
- Lightly toast the seeds on a dry skillet.(optional)* for about 3 mins
- Blend till smooth.
- Store in an air tight container.
* You can blend the whole spices without toasting. The Punjabi style Garam Masala Recipe requires toasting the spices.
What is a curry?
Curry is a variety of dishes that use a unique combinations of spices and herbs which usually includes cumin, coriander, ginger, dry chili etc.
Curries are usually prepared in a sauce and have their root in the Indian sub continent. It shouldn’t be confused with curry powder which is a spice blend that’s not of Indian origin.
Is this an authentic Garam Masala Recipe?
Yes and no. Yes because when compared to the Garam masala spice mix I bought in an Indian grocery to compare with, it tasted very similar.
No because, first of all traditional Garam masala spice mix is made with whole spices that are toasted to release the fine aroma and then blended together to make this spice mix.
Secondly I am not Indian and I didn’t grow up making this spice blend or eating curries made with it so I may not be able to make an exact replica like I would make my Nigerian Suya spice or Ose Ji (Spiced Peanut Butter).
How to Store.
Store in an air tight spice jar in a cool dry place. Here is a quick tip, Depending on how often you make dishes requiring Garam Masala spice, make the spice mix in small quantities that you can use up within 3 months.
Because blended spices tend to lose potency after 4 months. They will still taste good but not as effective as when freshly made. Therefore buy fresh blended spices as much as you can help it. You can do this by buying spices with very recent production date
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Garam masala taste
It does have a unique taste in foods. On it own it tastes like mix of a bunch of spices I guess 😉
2. What does it look like, what color is it?
It’s a light brownish colored spice mix
3. What is it used for?
It is used a lot in Indian cuisines. In dishes like Tikka chicken Masala, butter chicken, chicken Tandoori
4. Where to buy Garam Masala?
If you would rather not make your own spice mix or you are unable to access the individual spices needed to make it, you can buy some from your nearby grocery stores at the international aisle section, check Indian grocery stores or buy online.
5. Is there a good substitute for Garam Masala?
Unfortunately no, I haven’t seen a substitute for Garam Masala. It’s such a unique spice. I suggest you either make yours with this recipe or buy an already made one online.
6. What is they difference between Garam Masala and Curry powder?
Garam Masala is a traditional Indian spice blend while curry isn’t (except for Madras curry) Curry is said to be more of a British spice blend.
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Homemade Garam Masala recipe
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp ground Cardamom
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp cayenne or chili pepper
- Measure out spices whisk to combine, use immediately or store in an air tight container for later.
- This spice blend makes ½ cup For whole spices
- If using whole spices, use the same amount listed for the ground spices. Toast them lightly in a skillet over medium heat for about 2 - 3 minutes be careful not to burn. Let it cool down then blend in a coffee grinder. Use immediately or store for later.
- The posts has answers to FAQs remember to check it out.