Spice blends are one of those things that you can make your own. What I mean to say is that everyone has their own version or blend of seasonings that they prefer using in their kitchen. Even if I had a spice blend recipe, I know that by the time I finish making it it’s NOT going to taste the same as what the author made.
Guess what? It doesn’t matter! And to be honest with you, that’s a good thing! That’s the beauty of cooking right? Making recipes evolve into another is what makes cooking and eating so worth trying!
Garam Masala is one of those spice blends that you can get from your local Indian market pre-packaged. They sell the garam masala powder as well as bags of whole garam masala spices that you can just blend at home, put into your own container and call it a day.
Although, its a very easy way to get garam masala – its just not as fun as making your own at home and creating your own “signature blend.”
“Garam” means hot. “Masala” means spices. So basically, Garam Masala is a blend of spicier ingredients than the traditional curry powder or curry pastes and is usually added into meat dishes. Some people have told me that it only tastes good with meat dishes, but I beg to differ. I’ve used Garam Masala in my vegetarian curries, pakoras (fried veggie fritters), samosas, and many other common Indian dishes. Depending on how much intensity you want in your dish, a lot of garam masala or a little bit will change the flavor profile of a single dish in an instant. I will say – from my experience and kitchen blunders, don’t go crazy with the garam masala in your cooking. My suggestion is to take the recommended amount in your recipe and add maybe 1/4 tsp more at a time to deepen the flavor of your dish. It’s one of those ingredients that you can build up, rather than dump large amounts into your food. Unfortunately – too much will make your delicious recipe very bitter and unpalatable.
Here is my version of Garam Masala that I’ve been making for years now. I use it in grilling meats as a dry rub blend, in my curries, in my lentil soups, pretty much anything that I’m looking to deepen the flavor with.
I hope you will try this blend – it has a great balance between sweet, heat and savory. You can manipulate the flavors by adding more or less of a particular spice based on your preference, but I’m going to share what I typically use in my spice blend. Ohh!! The smell is AMAZING!!! Fresh. Fragrant. Soo good!
It’s a very simple recipe to follow and there is no guesswork on measurements here.
Just like my grandmother used a dixie cup to measure her “cups of sugar” , my measurement here for Tbsp. is not using the measuring spoons, but rather using the regular Tablespoon from your silverware set. Don’t laugh. Enjoy the simplicity. It just works! Haha
Chet’s Garam Masala Blend
Servings: makes about 2-3 cups of spice blend (~16 oz.)
- 5 Tbsp. of Cumin Seed
- 5 Tbsp. of Coriander Seed
- 5 Tbsp. of Black Peppercorns
- 5 Tbsp. of Cloves
- 5 Tbsp of Anise Seed
- 5 Tbsp of Chili Powder
- 5 Tbsp of Turmeric Powder
- 3 Tbsp of Saigon Cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp of Cardamom seeds (green cardamom)
- 2 Tbsp of Black Cardamom
- 8-10 dried Bayleaf
- 5 Tbsp of Jaggery Powder (Indian style brown sugar)
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
- In small batches, blend the spices down to a very fine powder – avoid leaving any large pieces or rough chunks.
- Repeat step 2 until all the spices are blended – transfer each batch to another bowl before starting the next batch to avoid inconsistency in texture between batches.
- Once all ingredients are blended, transfer the masala blend into a large airtight bottle or container and leave on side for about 10-15 minutes to cool off.(What happens is that the spices get heated up during the blending process and sometimes become a bit moist. Allowing the blend to “cool off” before storing gives any accumulated moisture a chance to dry off.)
- Store in cool, dry and dark place.
Feel free to tag me on IG @cmspiceculture with any questions/comments OR leave a comment below!