Garam Masala is one of the prime spice mix widely used in Indian Cuisine. Today I’ am going to share with you a quick and simple my style Homemade Garam Masala Powder Recipe.
What is Garam Masala?
The word Garam Masala means spice mixture. Though the word Garam means Hot in Hindi, in Garam Masala it stands for ‘Heating’. Heating means, heat coming from the spices. The word Masala means mixture of spices. Garam Masala not only adds flavour but also gives mouth-watering aroma to a recipe. So, Garam Masala powder is mixture of those spices which give flavour, aroma to a recipe and create heat in the body when eaten.
Main Spices Used in Garam Masala
The main spices used in making garam masala are,
Cinnamon (Tuj | Dalchini) – is a thin, tan-colored bark (do not get confuse over cassia). Cinnamon contributes taste and aroma in garam masala. Sometimes used as whole in meat-based recipes. Know more about Cinnamon and its varieties in a post by Kat Kinsman at myrecipes.
Cloves (Laung) – are reddish brown flower buds of clove trees. These have strong aroma and pungent taste. Cloves are used as flavouring agent in many syrup-based recipes and in jams too.
Elaichi | Cardamom – Though there are two varieties of cardamom, usually green cardamom is the most used spice in making garam masala. There are few garam masala recipes which call for black cardamom and green cardamom together too.
Apart from these coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, shah jeera, star anise, bay leaf, nutmeg, mace, etc; are used.
Variations in making Garam Masala
Every garam masala powder recipe is different. Every family, every restaurant and for that matter every masala brand has got its own and unique garam masala recipe. Whatever may be the ingredients and ratio of adding them, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom are key ingredients.
I have seen Master Chefs using dried rose petals, bay leaf (tej patta), fennel (sauf), etc; in making garam masala. The recipe of garam masala not only change from state to state and from family to family, but it also changes depending on type of the recipe.
Like meat curry or gravy-based recipes call for set of garam masala ingredients which differ from biryani garam masala. Some meat-based recipes like Haleem | Daleem calls for a special garam masala (spice mixture), which includes dried rose petals, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, black pepper, shah jeera, cumin, coriander seeds, etc;
The spice mixture and the ratio used in Hyderabadi Biryani is different from that of Awadhi or Lucknowi Biryani. Even Chettinad Biryani spice mixture is different from that of Dindugal Talapakkati Biryani.
What is garam masala made of?
As I said, garam masala is assortment of spices. A classic garam masala would have equal quantities of cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamom and black pepper. But this ratio changes depending on the recipe and peoples tastes.
What does garam masala taste like?
The taste of garam masala totally depends on the choice of spices used in making it. Though it is difficult to say which spice adds aroma, which adds flavour, and which gives warmth. I say it is this amalgamation of spices, which when come together brings out a delicious and heart-warming recipe.
Garam Masala is mostly used in meat and poultry-based recipes. Due to its pungent smell, garam masala is less used in fish or vegetable-based recipes.
If when added in correct quantity, garam masala will bring the best in any recipe which calls for it.
2-Ways to make your own Garam Masala
You can either buy whole ingredients and grind into fine powder.
Or you can simply buy powdered ingredients and combine them to make your own garam masala at home.
How to use Garam Masala?
Garam Masala is used in three different ways,
Whole Garam Masala – Sometimes, in recipes like biryani, pulao, etc; whole spices are added to oil along with sliced onions and fried. Or they are added to flavour the water in which rice is cooked.
Added in Marination & Cooking – Especially in meat-based recipes like biryani, dum ka murg, chicken korma, Mughlai chicken, kaleji ka salan, etc; garam masala is added in the marination and also added while cooking the curry.
Sprinkling Garam Masala – Some recipes like Marag, Nihari, Paneer Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, Shahi Vegetable Korma, Masala Aleesa, Shahi Mughlai Chicken, etc; garam masala is added in marination and also added in the last to enhance the flavour and bring in the best aroma in the recipe.
Easy Homemade Garam Masala Powder Recipe
Take 1:2:1 ratio of cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom. Add these to a skillet and toss on medium flame. Keep tossing for 3-4 minutes or till nice aroma starts to come. Turn off the flame and spread these on a kitchen plate or towel.
Once the spices, reach the room temperature, grind and make a smooth powder. You can either grind them in food processor or small mixture jar or coffee grinder.
This is an extremely basic garam masala recipe. I use this in almost all the curry or meat-based recipes. This is the same garam masala recipe, which is used in making Authentic Andhra Style Mutton Biryani recipe.
How to Store Garam Masala?
- Store garam masala in clean and dry airtight jar (container).
- Always remember to use clean and dry spoon to take garam masala.
- Close the lid tightly to lock the aroma for longer period.
- Alternatively, you can divide the garam masala in two batches. Keep one outside in a small moisture free jar and refrigerate the rest.
- If stored in refrigerator under proper condition, garam masala stays fresh for 6-8 months.
Where can I buy Garam Masala?
Try my garam masala recipe and I bet you will never buy readymade garam masala again. But if you are finding it difficult to get the spices, then you can buy garam masala from any grocery store or you can order online too.
Which brand Garam Masala is good?
Though I always make my own garam masala and I do not have any experience in store bought garam masala. Some of the popular brands suggested by my friends are,
Shahi Garam Masala Recipe
You will find two different homemade garam masala powders in my kitchen. One I use it to flavour vegetarian and chicken based recipes. The other one which is bit spicy and hot, I use it in making biryani and meat based recipes. I get many requests to share my garam masala recipe. So, here is it. Fantastic, flavorsome and fragrant homemade shahi garam masala recipe. Do give this a try and let me know.
Shahi Homemade Garam Masala Recipe
Garam Masala is one of the prime spice mix widely used in Indian Cuisine. Garam Masala powder is mixture of those spices which give flavour, aroma to a recipe and create heat in the body when eaten.
- ¼ cup green Cardamom | Hari (Choti Elaichi)
- ¼ cup Cloves
- 2 black Cardamom | Badi Elaichi
- 2 Bay leaf
- 8 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp. Black peppercorns
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 Nutmeg
- 1 Mace
- 2 tbsp. Cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp. Coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp. Fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp. Shah jeera
- 1 tbsp. dry Rose petals
- ¼ tbsp. Saffron
- 1 tbsp. dry Ginger powder, optional
How to make Garam Masala Recipe at Home
- Heat pan on medium flame for 5 minutes and add saffron. Dry roast it for 30 seconds and remove. Set aside.
- In the same pan now add all the other ingredients except dry ginger powder and dried rose petals.
- Toss and roast the spices for nearly 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
- When the spices are warm enough and starts to leave aroma, remove them on a kitchen plate.
- Spread evenly and leave these spices to cool completely,
- Upon cooling, grind and a make find powder.
- When the spices are completely powdered add dry ginger powder, saffron and dried rose petals and pulse for 10 seconds.
- Transfer the contents to a clean and dry airtight container.
- Keep it in a cool place and use when required.
- Alternatively you can keep some of the garam masala outside in a small jar and the rest in a jar or a zip lock bag and refrigerate until use.
How to dry roast spices in microwave
- You can easily dry roast the spices in microwave too. Take microwave safe bowl or plate and spread the spices evenly.
- Microwave for 3 minutes by tossing every 30 seconds.
- Once the spices starts to release the aroma. Remove from microwave and spread them to cool.
- Upon cooling grind and make fine powder.
How to make fine garam masala powder
I use fine sieve and strain the garam masla powder. I add the coarsely ground ones again and grind until I get fine powder.
My grand ma use to strain garam masala through cheese cloth. Using cheese cloth will give super fine garam masala powder, which will look exactly like store brought one.
Before dry roasting the spices, check the spices for any dust, stones, etc;
You can even sun dry the spices for 30-40 minutes before dry roasting them.
I keep the skin of green cardamom while roasting and grinding it.
If you don't want to add green cardamom with skin, then peel it and add only pods.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 38gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g
Thank you so much for reading, and please do rate this recipe. And whenever you make it, be sure to let me know! SAVE | PIN THIS IMAGE ON PINTEREST!
Such a comprehensive post about Garam Masala; now I want to make mine. Thanks so much for sharing!
Beth Sachs says
This is such a useful recipe to have. I use a lot of garam masala in my cooking.
I love that I don’t have to buy this at the store anymore!
Heidy Linn says
This was a fantastic read. I never knew how easy Homemade Garam Masala would be to make. The tips and instructions are great, and honestly, this Homemade Garam Masala would be very budget-friendly if you use it a lot. A must try!
This recipe came in handy when I was preparing a recipe that called for garam masala! I didn’t have any at home, but I had all these spices to create this spice mix. Thanks!