Garam Masala is a savory and aromatic mixture of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. While you may find garam masala in paste or powder form at most major grocery stores, it will be at its most fresh and flavorful when made at home. That’s why homemade garam masala is worth the time and effort it takes to prepare, and makes an amazing gift for friends and family members who love to cook, and are addicted to the spices used in Indian food.
Once the spices are roasted and ground, they will remain fresh for up to three months in an airtight container. Feel free to double the recipe to make enough for multiple gifts:
• 1 2-inch stick of cinnamon, broken up
• 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
• 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
• 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)
Preheat a dry, heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat.
Break the cinnamon stick into small pieces, and add to a small bowl or ramekin, along with the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, and cloves. Add the spices in your bowl to the preheated skillet all at once. Stir constantly until the spices are several shades darker and give off a sweet, smoky aroma. This process should take 5-10 minutes.
When the spices are toasted, remove from the heat, and transfer back into the bowl to cool. Once the spices have cooled to room temperature, add the nutmeg and the saffron, and transfer to a coffee or spice blender to grind into a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
I’ll be giving some of my extra garam masala mixture away as gifts to close friends of mine who are learning how to cook their favorite Indian dishes. To package my gifts, I used small half-pint jars, and added labels that fit perfectly on the lids of my jars in Classic Oldstyle.
- Jar Labels • I chose the “Classic Oldstyle” style in Spice.