Simone's Kitchen

Garam masala

Making garam masala |

Whole spices are best!

Let me first start with a disclaimer here; I am gonna give you a recipe for garam masala, but I am convinced that there are 100’s, 1000’s of recipes out there that are possibly more authentic, better or whatever then mine. I don’t know much about the Indian kitchen other then what I have tasted and cooked myself. So this is from a recipe from a book I have on spices.

So that’s all for the disclaimer.. 🙂 Now on to the recipe itself!


Making garam masala

Garam masala is not one particular spice, it is a combination of different spices that you roast to create a blend. You can use it to flavor curries or as in this case a lovely salad. (recipe for that will follow later, but you need this to make the salad)

I got this recipe from the book The Spice Bible by Jane Lawson. I love that book and it has some useful information on all sorts of spices you can think of. And most important for me; pictures of the spices… I mean; take for instance kardamom. If you know what it looks like then it’s easy. But if you’ve never seen a cardamom pod in your life then searching for them might be a bit hard. So pictures are good, pictures are very useful.

She gives the base recipe for garam masala and some suggestions of other spices you can throw into the mix. I added a bit of other herbs as I know I like their flavors. Most importantly when making this mix is that you use fresh spices. I made the mistake once of trying to create a curry using old and bland spices. Trust me; that does not work. If they don’t smell anymore get rid of them.


Garam masala |

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Garam masala
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
  • 10 green cardamom pods remove the seeds from the pods and discard the shells
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  1. Remove the seed from the cardamom and throw the pods away. Break the cinnamon in pieces.
  2. Roast the cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, peppercorns, coriander and mustard seed for 1-2 minutes in a dry frying pan. Make sure not to burn them (and watch out as the mustard seed can be quite jumpy)
  3. Fry until you smell the aroma’s.
  4. Grounding the spices
  5. Leave to cool. Ground in a magimix or pestle and mortar and make sure you have no whole cloves left as that is not very tasty.
  6. Airtight it will be good to use for about 1 month.
  7. Note
  8. There is no such thing as one recipe for garam masala as each household might have it's own version. Add the spices that you like and keep trying until you have a blend that works for you!

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