Garam Masala


Preparation info

  • Makes about

    ¼ cup

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food


By Nik Sharma

Published 2018

  • About

Most families in the Indian subcontinent have a stash of garam masala in their kitchen; the ratios of the spices differ from region to region. Use this spice mixture as an all-purpose, savory seasoning by letting it bloom a little in hot oil at the start of cooking or adding directly later in the cooking process.


  • 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • One 2 in [5 cm] cinnamon stick
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole black cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground mace


    Heat a small, dry stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, and black and green cardamom pods. Toast gently, shaking the pan, until the spices become fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to burn the spices; if they do burn, discard and start fresh.

    Transfer the toasted spices to a mortar or spice grinder. Add the nutmeg and mace and grind to a fine powder. Store the spice mix in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.