Recipe: Dreamy Homemade Garam Masala

Makes about 3 Tbsp

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Imagine you’re in India.

Having trouble?

I can help. Let’s make some Garam Masala.

Garam Masala is possibly the most well known spice blend from India. Grandmas all over the northern region grind up fresh batches of this earthy goodness for dinner every day. They’ve got the right idea. Grinding whole spices as needed is the secret to bold, flavorful dishes. You, too, can fill your home with the warm, sweet smell of India.

And then you’ll be able to visualize. To travel. With nothing more than your imagination.


1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
10 seeds from green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves


Let’s take a stroll over to an Indian spice market. Forget the car. Parking isn’t really worth the trouble. But the spices are.

Old Delhi, India - next to spice market. Photo by Varun Shiv Kapur | Spices. Photo by Marc Shandro

While we’re there, let’s gather a bounty of spices. We’re going to make a ritual out of delicousness.

Buy spices you recognize and spices you don’t. Breathe in the gorgeous, colorful smells. Nibble a little.

When you’re done, head home with an armful of spices, giddy… and silly … and ready to make homemade garam masala.

First things first: the green cardamom pods will need to be shelled and the cinnamon sticks broken in half.

Then, toast all the spices over medium low heat in a dry skillet (do not use nonstick). Add to coffee grinder, starting with the cinnamon sticks. Once they are coarsely ground, add the other spices and grind into a fine powder.

Use in all manner of dishes, including saag paneer [recipe], or give as a gift to your most favorite friend.

Or simply toast it in a bit of oil so you can smell the love – so you can close your eyes and visualize.

India. Beautiful.

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  1. Brian S. says:

    I’m glad you made this. Otherwise people will think of Indian food as nothing but tea and popsicles. Garam masala just means hot mix, and I believe that the ingredients and proportions are left to the preferences and whimsey of the chef. It also varies by region. It is the equivalent of Indonesian rempeh.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Ah, don’t forget I made paneer (epic) and the saag paneer (yet to come). I don’t think kulfi is anything like American ice cream. It has bread it in – wow! Pretty interesting if you ask me. As for Chai, it’s one of the most loved drinks around the world thanks to India. I was happy to learn how to make it from scratch. It’s all fun and good :)

  2. just wanted to stop in to this site for a bit, was hoping you were up to Liechtenstine by now….

  3. elisa waller says:

    i can smell this..just by lookinga tthe pictures and hearing your words….just beautiful!
    Makes me grow a third eye <3


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