Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indian spice

After writing about potato curry, someone asked about my garam masala. It is indeed a mixture that varies from kitchen to kitchen (and one of the reasons trying out new Indian restaurants is such an adventure), but here is one I like. (The photo to the right shows black peppercorns, but I don't use them in my garam masala, because they tend to overwhelm the other spices when stored. It's easy enough to add freshly ground pepper as you're cooking.)

Garam Masala
Makes about 4 tablespoons

1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons cumin seeds (black cumin if you can find it)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander seeds
1 piece star anise
1 long bay leaf

Roast all the spices lightly on low-flame for about 2 minutes. Grind them to a powder in a clean, dry spice grinder. Store in an airtight glass jar in a dark, cool, dry place.


  1. Here's my garam masala recipe:

    25 Black cardamom pods
    3 tablespoons ground cloves
    2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon ground white pepper

    Grind cardamom pods in a coffee grinder until powdered. Pass through a sieve and discard husk. Place with cinnamon, cloves, and pepper in a small non-stick skillet. Roast over medium heat until heated through, about 30 to 40 seconds. Let cool completely.

  2. Thanks, Padre... sounds good and spicy.