How to Make Garam Masala

The fragrant spices of India float through the kitchen and out onto the street, beckoning all those that pass by to wander into the establishment. The warm, complex smells of curry spice and coconut milk thrill the senses. The people on the street wonder, “What makes up this luring, warming aroma?”

Garam Masala is a key spice in many Indian dishes. The direct translation of “Garam” is hot and “Masala” is mixture. Hot mixture. The combination of spices is not necessarily hot in terms of heat, but rather as a sensation of metabolic warming when added to dishes. There is typically only one chile in this mixture, generating a minimal burn. If you crave more heat, simply add more chilies to the mixture.

Garam Masala is a spice well suited to curries, but it can also be utilized as a rub for grilled meats and vegetables, in stews, and in desserts like spiced cakes and ice creams. The possibilities are really quite limitless for this beautifully fragrant spice mixture.

Garam Masala Recipe

Yields ¼-½ cup ground spice


  • 2 Tbs. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. molasses sugar
  • 1-3 red chile peppers, depending on heat preference (De Arbol is a great option)


Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, and red chile peppers in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Omit the molasses sugar until the grinding process.

Grind the toasted spices in a clean coffee grinder or spice mill to a fine powder. Store in one of our spice jars. The mixture will keep fresh in your pantry for up to 6 months.