Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemade Garam Massala, Indian Spice Mix

When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible. And now cooking and clicking is my passion and it does bring out the best in me. I always enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen when I was young but the real cooking started only after marriage. It was then limited to simple Daal Tadka or Mutter Paratha using basic Indian spices. Later the experiments began –adding pav bhaji massala in rice; or making pasta sauce from scratch and even preparing my own chaat massala mix. Blending your own spice mix is pure bliss and I hereby declare-homemade is happiness.

Life is fast and we all tend to pick up readily available ingredients from the market which is fair enough. But let me tell you something once you make your own spice mix at home you will be little hesitant to buy from the stores. Reasons? oh they are many- ofcourse you can make any changes as per your taste or decide the consistency you want; and most importantly you will end up with pure, hygienic and fragrant spice blend- who doesn't wish that?

What is garam massala? No it is not curry powder. So Garam means Hot/Heat; Masala is Spice Mix. The composition of garam massala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste, and none is considered more authentic than other. And that is why if you are particular about the final taste then homemade is the best option. The components of the mix are toasted and then ground together. Marwadi cuisine is impossible without garam masala be it in Aloo Pyaz Ki Subji or Stuffed Bhindi- you can never have enough of it.

For me this is one magic mix if used in right quantity can take your meal to the next level. Garam Massala is always added in the end as all the Indian curries and sauces are slow simmering ones and garam massala powder at the beginning would mute the flavours of the spaces. While there are dozens if not hundreds of recipes for garam massala but coriander seeds which give right texture and whole red chilies that provides heat are the 'must' ones. Personally I add star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms-all these spices have unique scents and when roasted releases great flavour. What else- next passion is all you need.

1/2 cup whole coriander seeds/dhaniya
1/4 cup cumin seeds/jeera
8-10 green cardamoms/ilyachi
5 cloves/laung
2 whole cinmon sticks/daalchini
4 bay leaves/tej patta
4 dry red chiilies/sukhi lal mirch
1 teaspoon black peppercorns/kali mirch
5 black cardamoms/badi ilyachi
2 star anise/anshphal

In a heavy bottom pan dry roast all the ingredients separately on a low heat till aromatic.
Once cool, grind in the grinder.
Store in airtight containers.

You can also add nutmeg/jaiphal in it.
Try to use whole spices, powdered ones will not bring real taste.
Make sure you roast on low heat, as they tend to burn very soon.
Make a small batch first and then adjust any ingredients as per your own taste.


  1. Personally i dont make this at home, mom make it in India and parcel it to me. so its more of mom's love in masala too. best home made masala for our food.

  2. Stunning clicks,homemade is the best

  3. Lovely clicks...... homemade is always better !

  4. I prefer home made too .My mom gives me sambhar,chili masalas .So preparing garam masala is up to me .Will try it sometime

  5. You are not only a good cook but also a good food photographer .

  6. Homemade is always best lovely garam masala recipe.

  7. I was looking for a good homemade garam masala recipe, thanks for sharing this....looks good...nice clicks :)

  8. very flavorful!! homemade is the best!!

  9. Nothing to beat a home made spice mix. The aroma and flavour is simply outstanding. I prefer to make instant spice mixes many times if I do not have the garam masala in hand. Well clicked.

  10. Home made is always the best.. Nice clicks..

  11. I too personally prefer homemade powders instead of the store bought ones that are loaded with preservatives....never tried making garam masala yet...will make your recipe now...thanks for sharing :)

  12. Homemade tastes so much better! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Homemade is always the best, fantastic spice powder.

  14. I can almost smell it!! Looks perfect...

  15. Thanks everyone for such overwhelming comments :-)

  16. Best Recipe. I loved it. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe with us.
    Spices Online


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