What I’ve found with cooking is that there are usually as many recipes as there are cooks for certain dishes. Indian Garam Masala and different curry powders are perfect examples and here is my take on a exotic, flavorful spice blend.
If you’re like me and like to know what goes in the foods you eat, this homemade take on an Indian spice blend is perfect.
I love Indian food and the many exotic spices used are so amazingly flavorful and holistic it adds to the mystique some have. Take Garam Masala for example. Garam literally means “hot” and Masala means “mixture of spices” so this is a spice blend used often in my kitchen.
I like my dishes with big, bold flavors so it goes without saying I make this version often and store it in my pantry. See, store bought spices are often sitting in your pantry in big containers because they were a bargain, but their potency does have a shelf life.
This is perfect in marinades and best sprinkled in curries towards the end of cooking as to not lose it’s potency and aromatic quality. I make this in small batches so these aromatic spice blends deliver the taste and flavor they were destined for in my kitchen.
Big bin markets like Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the like all have these spices and small international markets as well. I buy them there and make my blends at home. Most of you probably have, or better yet should have in your kitchen, cinnamon sticks, coriander and cumin seeds, black peppercorns and bay leaves. While these are the most common, star anise, mace and cardamom seeds can be found at these markets in packages or bins and used to pep up your favorite Indian meals.
Let me show you how here and realize, its all about toasting the spices first to help release their essentials oils, and grind to powder form in a coffee or spice grinder. Store in small batches in an airtight container and store in your kitchen pantry. Trust me, it’s super easy, your dishes will ring with amazing new flavor and best part is – you made it yourself.
- ½ cup cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 12 cloves
- 12 green cardamom seeds
- 6 black cardamom seeds
- 6 bay leaves
- 6 whole star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- ½ nutmeg seed
- ½ tsp mace
- Toast all the spices in a cast iron skillet or other non stick pan over medium heat. Stir often and turn off the heat after spice give off aromatic fragrance. Several minutes should do the trick. Do not burn!
- Allow to cool and grind in coffee grinder or blender. Store in an airtight container.