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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC

Garam Masala


A beautiful Indian spice blend, integral to many South Asian recipes, garam masala is a heady combination of warm spices, savory seeds and herbs, with a hit of anise and heat. It is incorporated towards the end of cooking or even as a finishing spice, so its aroma and flavor have their strongest effect. There are as many variations of garam masala as there are families throughout the region, where garam masala is widely enjoyed. 


You will not believe the depth of flavor you achieve by freshly roasting and grinding your spices.  Because the volatile oils in these ingredients oxidize and degrade with time, it is best to make garam masala in small batches like this, and often. Store in a dark, cool cupboard or in the fridge.


Prep time  15 minutes        Cook time  5 minutes       Makes 1/3 cup




1 7" Ceylon cinnamon stick

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon green cardamom seeds

2 black cardamom pods

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

3 dried Kashmiri chilies

2 Indian bay leaves

2 small star anise

1/4 freshly grated teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1 teaspoon mace




Heat a skillet over a medium-low flame for 5 minutes.  Add all the spices, save the mace. Stirring constantly and with your nose poised over the pan, dry roast for just a few minutes or until the aroma of the spices comes wafting up.  Remove from heat immediately. Do not allow the spices to smoke or burn or they will become bitter and acrid.


Cool. Grind in a spice or coffee grinder to a powder.  Pour in a bowl.  Stir in the mace.  Store in a glass jar.

Garam Masala

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