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Garam Masala

Serves: Makes about ⅓ cup


  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces in a mortar


This aromatic spice blend is used in northern India. It is commercially available, but homemade garam masala has a much livelier flavor.

Place a tawa or small, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon. Heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spices turn a shade darker and become fragrant. Pour into a small bowl and let cool.

Transfer the cooled spices to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind or pound to a powder. Store in a glass jar or a spice tin with a tight-fitting lid. The blend will keep for up to 2 months before its flavor begins to dissipate.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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