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Garam Masala, a North Indian Spice Mix

Updated on May 26, 2014

Garam Masala Ingredients

Garam Masala ingredients, before the spices are roasted then ground
Garam Masala ingredients, before the spices are roasted then ground

Masalas

Masalas are spices blended together into a special blend and can be either dry or used as a paste.  The flavors can be either more mild and fragrant, or contain more spices.  It varies and depends on the particular cook and what they like.  The other thing that makes the difference is the dish itself.  To enhance the flavor, these spices are often dry fried before they are ground up.  This brings out an even greater depth of flavor. 

There are a few different kinds of Masala.  You wil find Garam Masala, Kashmiri Masala, Chat Masala, Madrasi Masala, and Green Masala and maybe more.  Today I am focusing on the wonderful Garam Masala.

Cinnamon Sticks, broken up
Cinnamon Sticks, broken up

Garam Masala

The word garam means hot, or warm, and garam masala means hot or warm spices.  This is a North Indian spice mixture, that is truly wonderful and worth trying sometime.  Often, spices are used during cooking, but garam masala is able to be sprinkled on the finished product.  It would be like sprinkling salt or pepper, but you are adding all these wonderful spices.  It adds its amazing aroma of roasted spices.  It is versatile though and can really be used any way you wish, including adding on food before it is cooked to enhance flavors throughout the cooking process.

Bay leaf, growing.  I wish I had one of these in my house!
Bay leaf, growing. I wish I had one of these in my house!

Garam Masala Ingredients

*Here is just one recipe for Garam Masala.

6 tablespoons coriander seeds

10 cardamoms, green

4 tablespoons cumin seeds

11 cloves

1, 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

3 dried bayleaves

1 tablespoon ground mace


** The video I have here, shows the recipe using black cardamoms, so if you only have those, you may want to use that recipe instead.

Directions for Garam Masala

First, in a heavy pan, warm it up without adding any oils.

Second, you will want to bruise the cardamom pods but leave the seeds inside.  Put the cardamom in the pan with coriander, peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin and cloves (all but the mace).  Gently toss the spices over low heat until they really begin to smell really good. 

Last, remove the seeds from the cardamoms and break up your cinnamon stick into small pieces.  Finely grind all the spices together, and then add your ground mace.

Now you have a wonderful spice mixture that will really liven up your food! 

Another recipe for Garam Masala

Garam Masala Poll

Have you ever used Garam Masala in cooking, or eaten a dish that included it?

See results

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Spices, thank you very much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it! :)

    • profile image

      Spices 6 years ago

      I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me,and I am completely satisfied with your website.All comments and articles are very useful and very good.

      Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in turn you are sharing with each one!…

      www.24caratspices.com

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Redelf, that is great to hear that the kids like it so much. I think its important to expose children to many different tastes so they can enjoy a wider range of food as they grow up. Thank you!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Sanjeeta, Boraxo, and Dolores, thank you very much. Dolores I am also on the look out for deals on good spices. You do get what you pay for so often though. We have a new Indian Spice store in town, and I am excited about that.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      KoffeeKlatch, Carolina, & Varenya, thank you!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      My kids love curries and Garam Masala is one of their favorite spice blends. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I imagine one can pick up the spices at an Indian store. Lots of ethnic shops sell spices for a fraction of the cost we usually see at the grocery store.

    • Boraxo profile image

      Boraxo 7 years ago from Yakima

      I must try this but may not find all the ingredients locally, we must travel to get spices and condiments for Indian and Asian foods.

    • sanjeeta kk profile image

      sanjeeta kk 7 years ago from India

      Good and informative hub.Nice to be here. Best wishes.

    • Varenya profile image

      Varenya 7 years ago

      Thanks, I was just searching for this recipe!!!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Yum!!!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Good recipe. It sounds like it will add some zing to some of my dishes.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Pamela, thank you for stopping by and for the comment :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Suny, thank you for stopping by and for your comment!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Dkrainwater, Marsala is seen more in Italian yes, but this is Masala, no "r" in it like marsala. Thank you for your comment!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Very informative hub. Thanks.

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      So! making curry more hot and spicy? all cccccc affair.good job, keep some sugar handy.love it as a north Indian,seeya.look it at this one, marsala or mardala.

    • dkrainwater profile image

      dkrainwater 7 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Great hub, I though Marsala was Italian.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Nifty, thank you for your comment

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 7 years ago

      Very informative! Thanks for sharing Oceansnsunsets!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image
      Author

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Phoenix, thank you for your comment!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Great Hub!