This homemade garam masala recipe is easy to make, and it uses basic spices you likely have on your spice rack. Grama masala is a ground spice mix used in many popular Indian recipes and Indian curries. This recipe does justice to the authentic Indian spice, all while being easy to make and simple to follow.
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”To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – La Rochefoucauld
If you know me then you know that I love food, I love cooking scratch, and I love eating. But I also love exploring the world of food, I loved studying and researching dishes from many different countries and time eras. I like to challenge myself to learn how to make at least one dish from each different country and cuisine.
A couple of years I do I was watching a video about India and realized not only did I not know how to make any Indian food but that I had never eaten any Indian food. So needless to say I knew exactly what I was going to learn how to cook next!
Now, though I take mine as hot as Indian food traditional is, I love Indian food, and it’s become one of my favorite things to cook and eat. I would pretty much consider it a comfort food for me these days.
f you haven’t guessed already garam masala is commonly used in Indian cooking. Before I started cooking Indian food I had never heard of garam masala, now it’s something I use almost weekly, and of course when it dawned on me that I could be making my own, well I couldn’t help myself!
Making your own homemade spice blends couldn’t be easier and is a great way to make more of your own food at home.
what is garam masala?
Garam Masala is an Indian spice blend that originated in Northern India. Some have even traced its first use back to the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. Today the variations of garam masala are endless and each region in India has its own version which accompanies the cuisine and spices grown in that climate. But what is garam masala exactly?
It is a blend of different spices and seasonings and though it is commonly used in savory dishes, garam masala contains lots of warming spices that are often used in desserts, such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
There are many different ways to make garam masala at home. Including recipes that use whole spices, like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and cardamom pods. And then grind them into a fine powder, using a spice grinder or coffee grinder.
This easy recipe is made using a blend of ground spices, which you likely already have in your cupboard. It can be whipped up in no time and can make in bulk or in small batches, and still carries much of the authentic flavors.
How to make homemade garam masala
- ground Cumin
- ground Coriander
- ground Cardamom
- ground Cinnamon
- ground Cloves
- ground Nutmeg
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Transfer the mixture to an air-tight container, such as a small mason jar, an empty recycled spice jar or bottle, new spice bottles, or even a sandwich bag.
Use as you would any other spice blend. *Store your homemade garam masala in a dry, cool, dark place.
*Homemade garam masala much like other spices and seasoning doesn’t really go bad or have an expiration date. The general rule of thumb for spices and seasoning blends is six months, though they are usually safe to eat well beyond that fact. But they will begin to grow stale and their flavors will start dull, leaving you with a far less flavorful spice blend, and less flavorful dishes.
This batch might not seem like it makes a lot, and you are defiantly double or triple it. Considering that most recipes only call for 1-2 tsp of grama masala, this recipe makes more than enough. As a matter of fact, if you don’t cook Indian food more than twice a month I would recommend even cutting this recipe in half, to avoid waste.
If you are looking to purchase some spice bottles you can find the ones I used in this post HERE.
what is garam masala used for?
Garam masala is used in a number of Indian dishes, including my personal favorite Indian butter chicken. If you have some leftover garam masala you need to use up. Or you’re just looking for some great Indian recipes to try, here are a few great ideas!
- Garam Masala Chicken Curry
- Tawa Paneer
- Aloo Gobi – Potatoes & Cauliflower
- Indian Red Lentil Dahl
- Creamy Curry Vegetable Stew
- Indian Chicken Biryani
- Chana Masala
What is the difference? Garam Masala vs. Curry powder
You might be wondering now what the difference between Garam Masala and Curry Powder is. After all, they are both a blend of Indian spices, they are both very commonly used in Indian cooking, and even contain some of the same spices. But they are not the same thing.
One of the most notable differences is that curry powder has turmeric in it, while garam masala does not. Curry powder also does not have the same warming spices as garam masala, and overall a more earthy flavor. Though it does still help to add a nice depth of flavor to dishes.
Lots of Indian recipes call for both Curry Powder and Garam Masala. And if you are in a pinch you can easily substitute one for the other. I would recommend keeping both on hand.
Curry powder has a bit of heat and more of a kick than garam masala on account of the ginger powder and chili powder it contains. While the dry mustard and turmeric give it an earthier taste.
Garam Masala is made with a blend of warm spices, with cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg giving it an almost sweet flavor. It adds richer depth to dishes than curry powder and gives you an overall warmer and more comforting feel to a dish than can be achieved with just curry powder.
It goes without saying that these two spice blends complement each other perfectly. And it’s easy to see why they are often used together in the same dish throughout Indian cuisine. Though they might seem highly similar on the surface, they are two completely different things, and each adds a different feel and flavor to a dish. And both of which I believe should be in every home cook’s spice cabinet!
Homemade Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to an air-tight container, such as a small mason jar, an empty recycled spice jar or bottle, new spice bottles, or even a sandwich bag.
- Use as you would any other spice blend. *Store your homemade garam masala in a dry, cool, dark place.