A simple, authentic recipe for Garam Masala Powder that takes 10 minutes from start to finish!
Homemade garam masala is much better tasting, fresh and aromatic than store-bought. It is found not only in every Indian household pantry but also found in the pantry of those who fond of cooking Indian food.
❤️About This Recipe
It is a unique, aromatic and flavorful ground spice blend from India. It is a combination of different whole spices and ground into powder form.
Garam means ‘hot’ and masala means ‘spice mix’. The hot term means the warming properties of spices used here (not spiciness). This masala increases body heat (temperature) in a good way which is good for your health and digestion.
Authentic Garam Masala Recipe:
Today I am sharing my grandmom’s recipe which is authentic Punjabi garam masala powder (North Indian). Every household (and region of India) has its way of making this masala. The ingredients and amount of spices vary greatly from region to region and even from household to household (region to region) depending on personal tastes and preferences.
🧾 Ingredient Notes:
Ever wondered what spices are used in garam masala? Well, you can make a simple version by choosing a few whole spices or make really flavorful and complex by choosing many different spice verities. Below pic of garam masala ingredient is for North Indian (Punjabi) style version.
When these spices are combined, they create a mix that adds incredible depth and complexity to a variety of dishes. It has warmth and sweetness, heat, spiciness and a hint of floral undertones.
- Cinnamon: This time I have used the cinnamon stick from American grocery store. You can use the one we get in Indian store as well. Both work well, use what you have on hand.
- Ginger powder (Sonth): As you can see I have used the powdered form. But if you have dry ginger on hand you can use that and grind along with rest spices.
👩🍳 How to make Garam Masala?
- Take all the spices except dried ginger (whether its whole or in powder form) in a pan. Break the cinnamon stick into small pieces and also break the nutmeg into pieces using mortar and pestle.
- Turn the heat on low and roast them with stirring continuously for only 2-3 minutes. Spices are just barely warm. we don’t want to brown them or color them. (Instead of warming on the stove, you can sundry them for a day). We want to remove the moisture from the spices to increase the shelf life.
- Remove it to another plate and let them cool down to room temperature. Most important, let spices COOL completely. If not cool then you will have lumps in your ground masala. Those lumps are slightly wet means it has moisture which decreases the shelf life.
- Then grind them along with ginger in batches in a spice grinder or coffee grinder into a fine powder. Keep grinding the batches and remove to a bowl or plate. In the end, mix everything well.
💭 Expert Tips
- I always use my spice/coffee grinder for best results. (the one I kept exclusively for spice powders). Do not grind coffee and spices in the same grinder.
- I have tried in Preethi mixer grinder (Indian style grinder) using small chutney jar. It gives really good results
- I have tried in Ninja blender (used single-serve individual smoothie jar). I am not satisfied. It gives coarse powder instead of fine powder.
- Traditionally, mortar and pestle is used but it is not ideal method in these modern days.
- During the grinding process, this garam masala may get slightly warm. So spread the ground masala in a plate and cool down for some time. Then store in the container.
- Store in a clean, dry, airtight container.
- It stays good for 8-12 months.
- Always use a clean spoon (not wet) while taking out from the jar.
- I usually keep it in a big jar and remove 2-3 tablespoons in my Indian spice box (masala dabba) which lasts for a week or two. So every time I am cooking, I am not going to open the jar, so aroma and freshness stay intact for a longer time.
Garam Masala Substitute:
Sorry, there is no right substitute for garam masala. If you don’t have it on hand, simply skip it and move forward with the dish. Many use readymade kitchen king masala or curry powder. But it sure alters the taste of the dish.
🍽 How To Use In The Recipes?
- Use ½ teaspoon of it for 2 servings of sabzi, curry or dal.
- Always add garam masala powder at the end of cooking means once vegetables are cooked or dal is boiled. By doing so dish stays aromatic and flavorful.
- Homemade one has a stronger flavor than store-bought one. So if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder, use ½ to ¾ teaspoon of a homemade one. If using store-bought then use 1 teaspoon.
Did you try this garam masala recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.
📋 Recipe Card
Garam Masala Recipe
- 22 grams or 3 tablespoons Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 7.5 grams or 2 tablespoons Coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya)
- 7.5 grams or 1 ½ tablespoons Fennel seeds (saunf)
- 5 grams or 1 tablespoon Shahi jeera (kala jeera or black cumin seeds)
- 24 pieces or 18 grams or ¼ cup Black cardamom (badi elaichi)
- 11 grams or 2 tablespoons Green cardamoms (choti elaichi)
- 18 grams or 2 tablespoons Black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
- 5 grams or 1 tablespoon Cloves (laung or lawang)
- 5 inch Cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 5 grams or 1 ½ tablespoons Mace (Javitri) (javitri)
- 15 leaves or 3.75 grams Bay leaves (tej patta)
- ½ Nutmeg (jaiphal)
- 3.75 grams or 2 ½ teaspoons Dry ginger powder (sonth or saunth)
- Dry roast the spices (except dry gingeon low-medium heat for only 2-3 minutes. We do not want any color change, we just want to warm up the spices to get rid of any moisture.
- Alternately you can keep the spices under the sunlight for a day.
- Then let the spices cool down completely and grind (along with dry gingeinto a fine powder using coffee or spice grinder.
- You may need to grind in batches if using a smaller sized grinder.
- During the grinding process, it may get warm. If so spread on the plate, let it cool down and then store in an airtight container.
- Always use fresh, good quality whole spices to make garam masala.
- All the spices mentioned are easily available at any Indian grocery stores. If the store is not nearby then buy them from amazon.