Garam Masala

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    ½ cup

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Garam masala is, of course, most associated with true East Indian cooking and while it is used in Trinidad it is not as ubiquitous. The term “garam” simply means “toasted.” The dry roasting of spices in this mixture adds a certain depth of flavor to the masala.


  • 6 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cloves or ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry hot red chilies, stemmed, or 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place all ingredients except the turmeric in the pan. Cook, swirling the pan constantly so the spices do not scorch, for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until the spices begin to release their aromas.
  2. Place the toasted spices in a food processor or grinder and grind to a fine powder. Add the turmeric. Remove and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.