Garam masala is the secret behind delicious Indian curries and vegetable dishes. This spice mix is very aromatic and adds delicious flavor to your food.
This garam masala recipe is a UP or Punjabi style garam masala that my mum used to make.
Every Indian family has its own recipe, and there are multiple variations in terms of flavour, colour and taste.
Most of such recipes are passed down in the family and work with andaaz (roughly translated means approximation).
My mother used to make garam masala at home after painstakingly roasting each spice and then pounding it. The house would smell heavenly on that day.
The garam masala tasted more potent and smelled better than any store-bought stuff.
If you plan well, you can make a jar say about 150 gm. and use it for a month or more depending upon your family's usage.
You may also like: ground coriander, ground cumin, Rasam powder.
I would highly recommend making your own garam masala spice mix at home. I am sharing a recipe that makes about 150 gms. or about 5 oz.
This usually lasts me 3-4 weeks. You will need lesser quantity of this compared to the store-bought stuff as this is highly flavourful and lower on fillers. Like I said, this stuff is more potent.
Here's how to make garam masala at home:
Lightly toast each of the spices on a low flame till aromatic.
Let them cool before blending.
Use your spice blender to make this garam masala powder. Store in an airtight container and use.
Keep this powder in an airtight container. It will last you for more than a month easily. You can store it in the fridge if you wish to use it longer.
Though, fresh masala powders do lose their freshness and aroma if kept around for so long.
Make a lesser quantity if you do not use it regularly. Use about ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. for a spicy hit to your curries.
Here's the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Garam Masala Powder Recipe
- 5 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp. cumin seeds
- 2.5 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 15 cloves
- 2 tbsp. green cardamom
- 3-4 black cardamom
- 4-5 inch cinnamon
- 4-5 mace
- 10 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- Lightly toast each of them separately on a low flame till aromatic. This helps their essential oils to come out and brings out the flavour and fragrance.
- After toasting, cool the ingredients and pound them in a mortar or pestle or if you are more realistic, use your spice blender. 🙂 I generally sieve the mix after blending and then re-blend the hard bits to get a consistent garam masala mix.
- Keep this garam masala powder in an airtight container. It will last you for 2-3 months if you don't use it before that. You can store it in the fridge if you wish to use it longer. Though, fresh masala powders do lose their freshness and aroma if kept around for too long.
- Toasting of spices on low flame is important not only to bring out their flavours but so that they are absolutely dry. That increases the shelf life of the powder.
- Always blend the spices only after they have cooled down.
- Blend individual spices separately as each takes a different time to toast. We don't want one spice burning and another being under toasted.
- I generally toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies separately. Rest of them I toast together.
- You can use fewer red chillies, skip them and reduce quantity of black pepper as per your taste.
- This garam masala powder is spicy as I like it spicy. It is also very aromatic and flavourful.
- Preferably use your garam masala spice mix within a month. It does not spoil if kept longer but may lose some of its aroma and fresh taste.
- Always store spice mixes in airtight containers.
- You can change the proportion of spices as per your taste or add another spice that you like.
- Some people add fennel seeds (saunf), star anise etc. as per their taste. I omit them.
If you liked the recipe, do give a * star rating either on the recipe or when you comment. Thank you.
Roshan Radhakrishnan says
I remember watching fellow doctors from Andhra make their version of this... as you can imagine, they made their garam masala as spicy as can be 😀
Oh yes. I am sure they must be using double the amount of pepper. ?
Awesome! Garam masala always comes in handy when you want to elevate the dish to the next level. Thanks for the recipe. I will try this tomorrow instead of the store-bought ones 🙂
It sure does, Shalini. Do let me know if you like it.
Oh I Could already smell the aroma of roasted spices ?? my mom used to do that too but with not so many ingredients. Thanks for this recipe.
Thanks, Raj. Oh yes, every family had their own recipe. Hope you like this.
Mayuri Nidigallu says
I make my garam masala at home too, but your recipe has green elaichi, which I don't use. Will be making a batch of your recipe next, Rachna. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Mayuri. Green elaichi is especially good in summer and adds a nice taste. Hope you like it.
Interesting - I've seen my mother-in-law use a similar recipe.
Must confess - didn't realise that a lot of people made garam masala at home
Oh wow, I didn't know that they made garam masala in the South as well. I am sure, your mil's recipe must be yummy.
Making your own garam masala really enhances the flavour of your food. It doesn't take too much time if you have all the ingredients with you.
I add jaifal and khus khus to my garam masala and don't add dhania. As you said, every home has their own recipes. And that is why food tastes so different in each home. No two house ever have the same pickle, do they? 🙂
Khus khus is interesting. Shall try it. What quantity? I have also added jaiphal no? I mentioned nutmeg. Without coriander, it must be even more potent. Sounds yum, Dags.
Shilpa Garg says
Kshitij makes garam masala for his non-veg dishes the same way. He makes it fresh every time when he cooks by using smaller quantities of these ingredients. The aroma of home made garam masala is so amazing as compared to the branded ones!
KG is quite amazing to be making garam masala fresh every single time. You must be relishing the taste of the dishes. ?
Shilpa Garg says
Yes, the aroma and taste is amazing, but he also has this habit of leaving some quantity of the masala, so I have small containers of his leftover masalas, which I use in my everyday meals. He does not use them again, as he has to use fresh garam masala only! ?
Soumya Prasad says
I always but a 100gm pack and it lasts for a couple of months for me. So never thought of making it at home until now.
I'll try this over the weekend. But where do I get black cardamoms from?
Oh then you should make this at home. If you have a Marwari kirana store in your neighborhood or good old BigBasket. I get it at Star Market too.
Sonia Chatterjee says
No dish is complete in a Bengal household without that last pinch of Garam Masala in it. We add whole Garam Masala to most items but home made powder garam Masala to every dish almost. Another helo/useful post from you.
That's so nice to know, Sonia. I guess garam masala is everyone's favourite. 🙂
Hey! This is very useful! Glad you shared it.
Thanks so much, Sonal.
Vidya Sury says
Love the recipe and the photo, Rachna! The first time I made garam masala from scratch I was 13 and my Mom labelled that container “Vidya”. Ever since, the garam masala container is labelled Vidya at home ? Brought back lovely memories! I make all my masalas from scratch and each time I roast-fry-grind, my home is not only filled with the aroma of the masalas, but also wonderful memories. I am glad you’re doing the AtoZ! ?
Thankyou so much, Vidya. I loved the story of 'Vidya' jar. So sweet. I am so happy that the post resonated with you. I am also glad that I tried AtoZ.
Reema D'souza says
My mom makes it home but I end up buying the readymade ones. I’ll try making this sometime.
The Love of Spice says
This has been on my list for so long. I make many dry chutneys and sambar masala at home, but have procrastinated on making garam masala, though I use it on a daily basis. Gotta change that.
Have a recipe from aunt, which is lying somewhere, have to check that too, and will reference yours as well while making it next time (hopefully soon)
I just made this garam masala & aroma is amazing. So very tempted to make some dish with that 😊 Thank you so much for sharing such a helpful & great recipe🙏😊
So happy Reema. You're most welcome. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.