Garam masala, from northern India, is the most common Indian spice blend. It’s widely available in Indian markets but, as always, the vitality and brightness of whole spices you toast and grind yourself cannot be bought. This is Suvir Saran’s blend.
Heat the cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2½ to 3 minutes.
Transfer the spices to a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Once cooled, transfer the spices to a spice grinder, coffee mill, or small food processor, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.
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