That staple being the garam masala. This recipe has been passed on from generation to generation in my family and has been the cornerstone of the delicious curries, spice rubs, sauces, gravies, and has even snuck its way into western foods.
There are many ingredients used in garam masala and even various combinations of these spices. Some include star anise, while others omit. A good garam masala is about the combination of the ground spices blending well together while each flavor stands out and doesn’t overpower.
This is different from the curry spice blends found in your local supermarket. And speaking of markets, I advise going to an Indian, Pakistani, or any ethnic food store to get the best prices and freshest spices.
Personally, I prefer either Patel Brothers or an Apna Bazar, if you find any near you. You can also pick up a small tin of premade garam masala at these stores, though the flavors and the freshness will not be as strong as making it on your own. This is super easy.
What you’ll need:
A small inexpensive coffee grinder, buy one separate from your actual coffee grinder. This one will be specifically for grinding spices not limited to garam masala, but also for barbeque rubs and other blends.
A small container to hold your blend, preferably a stainless steel one you can purchase in the ethnic food store. The best way to store your spices is in airtight containers and in a cool and dark place. You can also purchase a spice dabba, or an Indian spice box, like the one featured on Food Network’s Aarti Party.
- 1 TBS coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 ½ tsp broken cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp black caraway seeds (also known as shah jeera)
- 1 tsp cardamom
Place first four spices in a dry pan and toast until a fragrant aroma fills the air. Let cool for a minute. Add the toasted spices with the caraway seeds and the cardamom into the grinder and grind until fine.
*Note- when using garam masala, a little goes a long way. When seasoning meats, no more than ¼ tsp per pound.
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