Garam Masala

SpiceI’m not an expert on Indian cuisine, I’m still a novice stumbling down a buffet line of savory and often exotic flavor combinations—one of them being garam masala spice blend. Depending on the region and dish, the ingredients can and do vary. This particular garam marsala doesn’t contain cinnamon. I prefer to use it in conjunction with the Moroccan spice blend which does have cinnamon. This way when I want a less earthier flavor, I just use the garam marsala or, for more depth, I add the moroccan.  There are an endless aray of spice blends in Indian cuisine that can often times become very confusing which is why in Indian tradition, a bride on her wedding day recieves a very specical gift from her mother, a compartamentalized box filled with herbs and spices— a type of starter kit if you will— for the young bride to begin married life on a proper footing to prepare all of her new husband’s favorite dishes.


  • 2-Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1-Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1-Tbsp cardamom seeds
  • 1-Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1-tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-tsp mustard seeds
  • 10-whole cloves
  • 2-small dried red chilies
  • 2-Tbsp turmeric


  1. Toast everything but turmeric in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat just until fragrant, 2-5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to spice mill and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Add turmeric and blend.

Yield: about 1/2 cup