Garam masala

Written By Reena on 6 Jan 2011 | 05:00

My mum found my grandfather's notes a while ago and amongst them was the family recipe for garam masala - a staple mix of spices for many curries including dahl gosht and pav bhaji

Given the effort involved in the recipe below I buy my garam masala from my local Indian grocery store but I thought you may be interested in seeing my grandfather's recipe.  If you do attempt to make this please let me know how you get on.

  • 2 oz cloves
  • 2 oz black pepper corns
  • 1 oz star anise
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 6 oz coriander seeds
  • 2 oz cumin seeds
  1. Heat a completely clean and dry pan for several minutes until it is so hot that a drop of water evaporates immediately. 
  2. Now add the the cloves and toss until they start releasing their aroma.  Be careful not to dry roast them for too long as they will burn.
  3. Remove the cloves from the heat and crush finely using a pestle and mortar.
  4. Repeat steps 1 - 3 with all of the remaining spices.
  5. Mix all of the crushed, dry roasted spices and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

About Reena


  1. Thanks for sharing.
    How long will it keep assuming it's stored in an airtight container?

  2. Hi Rosinita. It will last for years in an airtight container. I know that in the West we have use by dates on spices but you don't find that in India (or at least nobody takes any notice of them). It certainly is true that the taste will change with time but not enough to deter Indians from buying/ making in bulk! All the best. Reena

  3. It's hard to find good garam masala where I live, so I've printed this off and will give it a go. Thank you.

  4. Ah! Great! Thanks. I can't get used to the gm one gets in the US - always too much cinnamon for me.

  5. Reena,
    Found this post on Tastespotting...simple yet lovely picture composition!
    Your Dahl Dokri looks awesome too...spoonalicious!

  6. Hey there ..this looks perfect blend of spices.I make it pretty much the same way except anise though! Thanks for sharing your family recipe!

  7. Hi Reena,
    What a wonderful way to celebrate your grandfather's recipe! The photo is lovely and arranged with obvious care. This is a great post.

  8. Thanks for the comments guys. I hope it comes out well. If you do make it then please let me know how it goes.