Garam Masala or Basic Spice Mix

A trip to any grocery store will show you how popular ready made spice mixes are. It takes the guess work out and it is convenient. There was a time when the basic spice mixes were family secrets passed down through the generations. Unlike pickles that were made to last a year spices mixes were not made in large quantities. The idea was to use them before they lost their freshness. If you choose one thing to continue making at home choose spice mixes. The fresh ground spices will add a fantastic flavor and aroma to your food.

This is my mother's recipe for garam masala. Actually it was my grandmothers recipe and she passed it down to my mother. Spicy curries were almost never cooked in the house when I was growing up. But this masala or spice mix was a staple. I took the picture at night and it did not come out very well. The color of the masala is brownish but the pictures shows it as yellow. I will click new pictures and update this post.

You will need
500 gm coriander seeds (dhane)
100 gm cumin seeds (jeera)
50 gm shaha jeera
10-15 dried red chilli peppers
4-5 bay leaves (tamal patra)
5-7 gm of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
5-7 gm star anise (dagadphool)
3-4 cloves (lavanga)
8-10 black pepper (miri)

1 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Heat a flat bottom pan with the oil. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, shaha jeera, red chili peppers and bay leaves. Roast until the spices fill your kitchen with their aroma and begin to change color. Turn off heat and transfer the spices to a plate. In the same pan roast the remaining spices until they start to change color. Turn off heat. Allow the spices to cool and grind to a fine powder. Allow them to cool completely, add salt and store in an airtight container.



  1. Sounds like a wonderful mix..I always make note of different proportions of GM..thanks for sharing your mom's will try it sometime..

  2. Homemade spice blends are always so much better than the store bought ones. Your garam masala looks very flavorful.

  3. I always prefer homemade masalas,they are more flavorful than store brought one. Yours look simple & easy to try.

  4. Homemade spice mix are always the best, can smell the flavor of this spice mix from here,so fresh.

  5. spice mixes done at home are always better than the store bought ones


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