Garam Masala is a widely used spice in North India and can be found in most of the dishes.
Almost every household has a freshly ground bottle of garam masala spice blend in their kitchen. Most garam masala recipes are like family heirloom recipes that have been passed through generations.
Where did garam masala originate from?
The use of garam masala started from the time of Mughal empire who ruled mostly in North India. The spice blend was used in winters only due to the body warming nature of the spices used in it. However, over time people really liked the flavors it added to the food and now it is used throughout the year for cooking.
In some recipes people do vary the ingredients based on the season. Fennel seeds make the body cooler so they are added to the blend in summers whereas nutmeg gives warmth to the body so it’s added during winter. It’s a matter of personal preference and there is no standardized recipe for garam masala.
Step by step recipe for how to make North Indian Garam Masala-
- Take all the ingredients that are used to make this garam masala recipe i.e.
Coriander Seeds (Dhania) – 4 tbsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 2 tbsp
Cloves(Laung) – ½ tsp
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)- 1 sp
Bay Leaf(Tej Patta) -1
Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 2
Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 7 or 8
Mace (Javitri) – 1
If you are looking for details on how each of these spices look like and their flavor profile. Here is a complete post with details of all Indian spices.
2. Heat a pan and add all these ingredients to it. Roast them lightly, keep stirring to make sure that the spices do not burn.
3. Once roasted let the spices cool down as grinding warm spices can cause them to burn due to heat generated in the process. Transfer the cooled down ingredients to a grinder.
4. Grind the spices into a fine powder and your garam masala powder is ready.
Tips when making the garam masala-
- For best results you can roast the spices on an iron pan and make small batches so that the taste and flavors remain intact.
- Do not roast the spices all the way because they will get slightly roasted when blended. The heat from the blender will make the spices burn if they are fully roasted already.
- Make sure that the spices have cooled down completely before you blend. This will keep the temperature and heat generated during blending lower.
- This ground spice blend can be stored for upto 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature. Here are all the details on how to store spices.
- Please note that this ground garam masala is added at the end, when the cooking is done.
- The garam masala spice blend is not spicy but adds some heat and earthy flavors to the dish.
- You can refer to this post to understand how much garam masala to use once you have created the spice blend as excess use of masala can make the curry bitter.
North Indian Garam Masala
- 4 tbsp Coriander Seeds (Dhania)
- 2 tbsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- 1/2 tsp Cloves(Laung)
- 1 tsp Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
- 1 Bay Leaf(Tej Patta)
- 2 Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
- 7-8 Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi)
- 1 Mace (Javitri)
- Roast all the ingredients listed together for 3-4 mins. Keep moving them as you are roasting so that the spices do not get overcooked or burnt. You will feel the aroma being released as you are roasting.
- Let the spices cool down and come to room temperature.
- Grind them into a fine paste and store in an airtight to maintain the taste and aroma for long duration.