Back to Basics- Homemade Garam Masala

Whenever I read about the infamously famous 'curry powder' used in Indian recipes in the western world, I failed to understand what it meant. I mean nowhere in our homes, and friends' houses and neighbours', and..ok the entire community, did I come across such a powerful spice that simply converts your dish to a curry by addition of this secret ingredient. And more and more I visited the supermarkets abroad, the more I read about it and interacted with people  from different countries, I realized what a misnomer this term is. Sorry to break the myth, but there's no Indian curry powder. But to soothe the just broken hearts, I have another secret to share, and that is the aromatic, robust and flavourful spice mix - Garam Masala. Yes it can be made very well at home and though the process requires just grinding whole spices, the result makes you know the difference between real and fake.

Like most recipes, garam masala also has varied recipes used in different parts of the country. What struck me was that it didn't have any bay leaves unlike many other recipes. But coming from the veteran Julie Sahni, this one is surely a keeper. 

Garam Masala Powder Recipe

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3-inch stick cinnamon, broken up
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • Dry roast cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat. 

  • Stir occasionally to ensure roasting, till the spices releases their smoky aroma. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to another bowl or plate for cooling

  • Once cooled, put half of it a grinder, to help fine grinding and grind to powder. Repeat for rest of spices. Mix in grated nutmeg. And your home made garam masala is ready.

  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to four-six months.

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