Garam Masala

Masala box
A typical masala box, with ground spices, that you will find in every kitchen in India.

In the Hindi language, called “Garam Masala” and in Bengali known as “Gorom Moshla”, it literally means “hot spices”. However, the connotation implied is “a blend or combination of specific whole spices roasted and ground together”.

Garam Masala is the crowning glory to most of the Indian cooking, especially the vegetable, fish and meat curries. Aptly reflecting the multi-dimensional India, the style and ingredients of making the garam masala are also varied.

Although the essential formula remains the same, the variations are in the quantity and add-ons of a couple of other spices within the different regions and communities of India. Apart from the current recipe given below, it can include crushed bay leaves, dry ginger, dry red chilli, fennel or nutmeg, depending on the particular region or individual taste. Now available in almost every supermarkets, or ethnic stores even outside India, Garam Masala is best made fresh. I am giving herewith, an essential recipe from my kitchen, to make your own fresh Garam Masala, feel free to modify the same to suit your own preference and tolerance.

Generally we Indians love to cook our meals fresh from the start (well it is a healthy age-old cooking practice as per the Ayurvedic way of living); accordingly, it is best we make the garam masala fresh for the day. However, since we will be roasting the whole spices, in this recipe, we can keep the Garam Masala fresh for at least 3 months. Store it in an airtight jar, which is kept in a cool and dry place.

Make Your Own Fresh Garam Masala:


Garam Masala Ingredient


⇒ 1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tsp peppercorns

1 tsp cardamom seeds

1 tsp cloves

3-4 one-inch pieces of cinnamon sticks

Preparation & making Time: 15 minutes

Quantity made: About 5 tablespoon

Preparation Method:

  1. Lightly roast all the ingredients separately in a pan for a few minutes, until the oils are released and the aroma rises.
  2. Grind all the roasted ingredients in a grinder as fine as possible.

Storage Suggestion:

The Garam Masala will remain fresh with great aroma for almost 3 months if stored in an airtight jar in a cold dry place. Whenever using the masala take care to use a dry spoon and immediately close the lid airtight, to maintain the freshness.

The best way to use the Garam Masala:

  • When you finish cooking a curry (say for 4 people), you may drop a blob of pure (clarified) ghee in the centre of the curry, and toss half a teaspoon of Garam Masala on the ghee and sprinkle another half teaspoon all over the curry. The ghee will further enhance the flavour of the Garam Masala and the resulting blend of aromas will tease your taste buds to create a fantastic appetite, leading to a healthy digestion.
  • You can use a teaspoon or more of the Garam Masala to marinate meats, especially chicken and lamb, along with other ingredients to make curries.
  • Add a dash of your fresh Garam Masala to other ingredients to marinate the veggies and meat pieces for yummy grills or bakes.
 Go on…experiment and flaunt your culinary prowess to your friends and family. {Ssshhh…Adding the Garam Masala is our secret….}

Hope you find this article delighting, and the recipe easy.

Thank you for your interest and time, 

Happy cooking!