How to Make Garam Masala at home

Garam Masala is another one of those indispensable items in my kitchen. My hands reach out for it almost for every meal. The use of myriad spices is synonymous to Indian kitchen and that being said, Garam Masala can only have its rightful place in every Indian kitchen. It is so simple to make for which most of the spices are likely to be lying down in your pantry right now. Once ground, the aroma that wafts in your kitchen is something you have to realize for yourself. It just enthralls you with its smell. I know many, dry roast the spices and then grind it, but I find that the smell does not last very long that way.So I normally grind it without this process.

Again, just like in every Indian household, the variations are mind boggling and this is no different either. The simple idea would be to take few basic ingredients and then try out variation around the same to suit your tastes and preference.This is one variation which I have come to like.

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 tsp Black whole pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 green/brown whole cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground mace ( if not available use nutmeg instead)
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds ( shahjeera)

Using a coffee grinder works best. It does not matter if you dont have one either.Take the ingredients and then grind them well.


Don’t worry if they don’t look too powdery and with husks.


Now with a sifter, sift the masala into a dry bowl. At this point, you can grind them remaining ones again. Few husks from cardamom will be sifted. Remove and throw them away.Store the masala in an air tight container. Make them in small quantities to retain the freshness and aroma. It lends a special taste to your food.

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By christy on Feb 12, 2014

You are such an angel!!

And, clearly so are you :) :) --DK

By Iva Maille on Feb 12, 2014

It’s an awesome recipe…I’m a fan of North Indian recipes and I’m inspired by this one.. Can I use nutmeg? :-|

By Riya Chopra on Apr 19, 2013

I follow your blog quite regularly & have tried out many recipes about Spices in India are rally so good.

By Mythreyi Dilip on Dec 29, 2010

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By swati on Aug 22, 2010

yea, the aroma is mesmerizing.... only thing i do differently is that i dry roast the spices a bit, let them cool and then grind them, the aroma gets better :)

By Sprouted Ragi & Black eyed peas cutlets (copied from « DanceFantasy’s World of Weird Food on May 2, 2010

[...] 1 tsp garam masala [...]

By rekhas kitchen on Nov 3, 2008

yeh it is a pinch of magic in indian curries looks so so perfect i can get the aroma from the pic mmm

By Vcuisine on Nov 3, 2008

It is nice to see the simple recipes in row DK. Good job. Wishing you good luck always. Viji

By Roopa on Nov 3, 2008

I can almost smell the aroma of the spices from your grinder:)

By Uj on Nov 3, 2008

Wow..Garam masala at home. I never tried it at home will do so now. It must smell divine

By Kalai on Nov 3, 2008

Never tried making garam masala before (just out of sheer laziness!). This looks like a very quick way of doing it. I can just imagine the aroma! Btw, thank you so much for your sweet sweet comments on my blog! :)

By Bhawana on Nov 3, 2008

great DK. so far I havnt yet tried making garam masala at home. very useful ingredient in every recipe :).

By Uma on Nov 3, 2008

mmm. I can smell the aroma right from the picture. Nice recipe Dhivya!

By Madhu on Nov 3, 2008

Looks so authentic, I always buy it, Thanks for the recipe. Good one DK.

By raaji on Nov 3, 2008

Divya i always saw my mom making a bottle of garam masala once in a while..but i was so afraid to make it on my own as what if it doesnt come out well......the foods wont be alwaysgo for a store bought one...

By ranji on Nov 3, 2008

ahhhhhhha garam masala!!!thats one handy dandy pdr i use in most of my cooking...nothings better than a freshly made garam masala pdr...a lot more aroma than the store bought ones...good one DK :)

By Latha Narasimhan on Nov 3, 2008

Nice step by step instructions. Love all your pictures dear! great start with most important basic recipes! :)

By Curry Leaf on Nov 3, 2008

Lovely and spicy.Your pics are really nice.Tempt the reader to try this recipe immediately

By Medhaa on Nov 3, 2008

love the picture DK. Any Masala made at home tastes so good and the aroma is something to look for

By Siri on Nov 3, 2008

love the first pic babes. It's so pro!


By Arundathi on Nov 3, 2008

you're really keeping up the indian theme! good for you babe! enjoying running with you again.

By Priya on Nov 3, 2008

Great job Dk...i love to prepare this masala at home itself...

By Divya Kudua on Nov 3, 2008

Garam masala..havent tried making this at home at all..I always use store bought ones..your recipe looks easy,esp the not frying the spices part;-)

By Lakshmi Venkatesh on Nov 3, 2008

Garam Masala, I always buy it from the shops. But never tried it at home out of fear that the proportions may go wrong. but after going through ur post gaining some courage to give it a try.

By Happy cook on Nov 3, 2008

Clever idea to sift them. Nothing is better than home made spices.