I love the smell of garam masala more than I love the smell of coffee in the morning. Okay, not more than morning coffee brewing because coffee… but pretty close.
Garam masala is readily available as a premixed spice blend in most supermarkets in Canada these days. But the premixed spice will never be as fragrant and as rich as when you make it yourself. It’s even better if you toast the spices a little before grinding them.
Make garam masala in small batches, as there is not salt in the blend and some of the spices used have a tendency to turn stale quicker than others (particularly the cloves and nutmeg).
Oma’s Garam Masala
12 green cardamom pods
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cloves
1 heaping teaspoon fennel seed
3″ cinnamon stick
1 star anise pod
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Lightly crack the green cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle, with the flat side of a large blade or other blunt instrument and extract the seeds. Discard the pod casing. Add the cardamom seed and all other ingredients together in a spice grinder, coffee mill or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder.
Store garam masala in a dry, dark place for longest lasting results.
TIPS: Use a glass or stainless steel jar to store the garam masala. Plastic containers tend to absorb the flavours and odours of the cinnamon, cloves, anise and nutmeg, making the container unusable for other purposes.
Peace and love!