Thursday, 17 October 2013

How To Make Authentic North Indian Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a mixture of different Indian spices. In those places where weather is cold almost throughout the year or where winters are really severe garam masala is used liberally as the spices in it are very useful in combating cold. Garam masala adds a unique flavor to the food. In Indian cuisine especially North Indian Cuisine garam masala powder is used quite often. In market one would find garam masala having different composition. But the flavor is never like authentic garam masala. The marketed garam masala is loaded with red chili powder thus making it hot but I found the main ingredients missing.  Garam masala should be having flavor of all spices. I believe in making all spices powder myself as the purity is assured.

Preparation Time: 5 min.

Making Time: 30 min.

Servings: Makes 150-200 gm. Garam masala(Approximately)

Ingredients Required For Making Garam Masala:
  • 100gm. Coriander Seeds
Dhaniya (Coriander seeds)
  • 50 gm. Cumin Seeds
Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • 5 gm. Cloves (10-15 cloves)
  • 5 gm. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Petals of Star Aniseed
Star Aniseed
  • 4-5 Black Cardamom
Black Cardamom
  • 4-5 Green Cardamom
Green Cardamom
  • 5 gm. Black pepper
Kali Mirch (Black Pepper)
  • 1/2Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana) (Optional)
  • 4-5 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
Ajwain (Carom Seeds)
  • 1/2 cm. piece of Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
Nut Meg
  • 1 Tea spoon dried flowers of Nutmeg (Javitri)
Javitri (Petals of Nut Meg)
  • 50 gm. Whole Red Chili
  • 10  gm. Dry Ginger (Optional)
Directions For Making Garam Masala:
  • Remove the stalk and seeds from red chilies.
  • Keep cleaned red chilies under the sun for 2-3 hrs. to remove all moisture.
  • Clean coriander seeds and Cumin seeds.
  • Heat a thick bottom wok and roast coriander seeds on low flame with continuous stirring till light brown.
  • Remove the roasted coriander seeds and keep aside for cooling.
Roasted coriander seeds
  • Roast cumin seeds till they splutter and become very light brown.
  • Remove the roasted cumin seeds and keep aside for cooling.
Roasted Cumin Seeds
  • Roast cloves, pepper, cinnamon and bay leaves all together for 1-2 min. on low flame.
  • Remove the roasted spices and keep aside for cooling.
  • Pound the black and green cardamom and roast on low flame for 2-3 min.
  • Remove and allow them to cool.
  • Roast fenugreek seed till pinkish – brown.
  • Remove the roasted fenugreek seeds and keep aside for cooling. 
  • Roast cleaned, de seeded whole red chili on low flame till they attain a reddish- brown color. The whole red chilies will become crisp.
  • Remove the roasted whole red chilies and allow them to cool.
Roasted Pepper, Red chilies,Clove, Green Cardamom with Cinnamon stick and Bay leaves
  • Pound the dry ginger to very small pieces.
  • Grate nutmeg.
  • Take all roasted and cooled spices, pounded dry ginger, grated nutmeg, Nutmeg flower petals (Javitri) in a grinder and grind to fine powder.
  • Sieve the powder and store in a dry glass bottle / airtight container / Zip pouch.
Garam Masala
  • Do not throw the course particles left after sieving. They can be added to the Chole / rajma / Black horse gram (Kala chana) while they are being boiled or ground to paste with water and added to mutton / chicken along with onion-garlic masala.
Coarse particles left after sieving the garam masala powder
  •  Do not add amchur (Powder of dry raw mango) because when added to curry it will impart sour taste even if not require in that food.
  • While the roasted spices are being cooled, the heat in them will cause the spices to change the color a shade darker.
  • Do not add amchur (dry mango powder) to the garam masala, because what you are cooking may require garam masala but not amchur.
  • Add garam masala always at the end, cover and leave for 5 min. for the flavor of masala to seep in the food completely.
  • If the red chilies are too hot then reduce the amount accordingly. It is best to add fewer chilies than make the masala too hot with red chilies.
  • Pepper and cloves are strong spices and their taste is hot. The spiciness of garam masala should come from them not red chilies alone.
  • Make sure that cumin is roasted to a state where the seeds just splutter and gain light color. If roasted to very dark color the flavor and color of garam masala will not be too great.
  • Different varieties of coriander seeds are available in the market, the color of which ranges from light green, yellowish green to brownish green. So while roasting make sure the color has changed to a shade darker and the seeds have become crisp.
  • While making powder of roasted spices after sieving once, grind and sieve the coarse particle again and again till no more powder is being formed. Then mix all powder and store.
Suggested Variations:
  • If you want the garam masala to be more spicy and hot increase the amount of black pepper and cloves to 10 gm. each. 
  • 50 gm. Kashmiri mirch (The fat red dry chilies from Kashmir which impart red color and flavor but no hot spiciness to the food) can be cleaned roasted and added to the slices before making the powder; This will make the garam masala reddish in color rather than brown.


  1. Nice post, I bookmark your blog because I found very good information on your blog, Thanks for sharing more information.I really like it.
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  2. Some of the ingredients are very different from the rest of the recipes I found online. It appears that most of the recipes out there use a lot more green and black cardamom. And wont 50g of chill pepper be way too hot? And on top of that adding 50g of Kashmir peppers?

  3. Ivan green and black cardamom are used in Indian cooking quite a lot.
    No the black pepper is not in excess. Kashmiri pepper adds only color not the degree of hotness.
    Also red chilies should be checked for their degree of hotness and then added. Amount can be decreased if they are too hot.

  4. Ivan green and black cardamom are used in Indian cooking quite a lot.
    No the black pepper is not in excess. Kashmiri pepper adds only color not the degree of hotness.
    Also red chilies should be checked for their degree of hotness and then added. Amount can be decreased if they are too hot.

  5. No I'm not talking about black pepper been in excess. It appears that you use less then most people do. But again found few more recipes with exactly the same amount as yours. Just trying to figure this out lol. My first time trying to make Indian dish :)

    1. Ivan Garam masala is to be used to give a spicy punch and flovor. One should always check the degree of hotness of garam masala before adding.
      Hope your first experience of indian cooking was good.

  6. Holly crap just checked out for the ingredients and it turned out to make this will cost me around $70!

    1. Hey Ivan you need not made so much Garam masala. You can make less as per your requirement. Just refuce the ingredients as per ratio.
      You can also make the masala and store it. It lasts very long if kept in airtight jar.
      1 tea spoon for 4 big helping is sufficient in any curry you make.

    2. You don't happen to have recipe for naan bread? :)

    3. Hey Ivan some how or the otber i missed blogging Nan recipies. I will do so once i am back in India. At present enjoying Chicago and its food.
      You can try my lachcha parantha, palak parantha, methi parantha

  7. Made it tastes awesome :) Thank you!

  8. Thanks for posting this. We have been missing garam masala for some time now and can't wait to make some! By the way, did you ever get around to blogging some naan bread recipes?

    1. Thanks for posting your comment Rusty Dixon.
      Unfortunately I have missed blogging Naan. I plan to make sometime and will then blog it.

  9. Coriander Powder in India is popularly known as Dhaniya Powder and provides several health benefits.

    1. Yes Shalimar Dhaniya green, seeds, powder in any form has health benefit. Actually all ingredients of garam masala have medicinal value so if taken in appropriate amount it nit only adds flavor, taste to food but medicinal value also.

  10. Garam masala available sounds tasteless as the aromatic spices like black pepper, moti elaichi, green elaich and cloves are miserly sprinkled with loads of coriander, a virtual no no if flavour from kashmere ir punjab is to be incorporated. Coriander is commercially used to add quantity for more profit in sales rather than adding spice to is imoerative discarding
    Coriander if taste has to be invoked.

  11. Great post about how to make garam masala and Ingredients used in making the garam masala mango powder is also used in it.

    1. Cup store we donot add dry mango powder (amchur) because all recipes where garam masala is added amchur which adds sour taste is not required.

  12. Hey Nice Blog!!! Thank you for sharing information. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, waiting for a more new post. Keep Blogging!
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  13. Excellent incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your website is magnificent, let alone the content!your blog is amazing we also provide same blog.
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  14. It is just amazing. I always prefer to take Garam masala from the stores. After reading this blog I will promise that will prepare Garam masala at home itself. Thanks for sharing this nice blog.
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