Sunday, 28 July 2013

Homemade Garam Masala

I've always bought Garam Masala, sometimes from an Indian grocer but more often than not from the supermarket, which I have now learnt is not a patch on making your own.

Googling for recipes I've learnt that everyone, and I mean everyone makes theirs differently. I think it depends on what you prefer, spice wise. Some add cinnamon or turmeric, I preferred to leave these out - cumin, coriander and cardamom are the flavours I really wanted to stand out in my masala.

Ideally you need a grinder, I have an attachment for my blender which grinds spices. Some also use a coffee grinder, but do bear in mind if you use it for spices it isn't wise to use it again for coffee - it will have to be your spice grinder from then on. If you have neither then a pestle & mortar will work, but will obviously take longer.

It's very simple, just add all your spices to the grinder and give it a whizz until it is a fine powder. Decant into an airtight jar - jam jar or kilner jar is perfect, and store in a cool, dark place.

My garam masala has a little twist - local chilli purveyor, Ben of Capiscana Chilli Co. recently tweeted that he'd made his own mix using one of his dried Mexican chillies; I was very intrigued and with Ben's gift of a parcel of Ancho Poblano and Pasilla Chillies I decided to make my own masala. I used about 1 inch piece of each dried chilli (seeds included) and whizzed it up with the other spices.

Garam Masala
Makes about 70g of masala.
Easily doubled/tripled, but don't make too much, fresh masala is better masala.

2 teaspoons of coriander seed
2 teaspoons of cumin seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods - use the black seeds inside only 
4 cloves
1 inch piece of poblano chilli, chopped
1 inch piece of pasilla chilli, chopped

The addition of the Mexican dried chillies gave a great kick to the masala as well as a nice fruitiness and smokiness. I've already added some of it to recipes I'm cooking for my Indian Afternoon Tea and it is 100 x better than any garam masala I've bought before. 

Try it out, it's easy!

Thank you Ben for sending me the chillies!

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  1. Oooh, I so need to make this. Apart from the top secret afternoon tea recipes (I'm getting excited ...!), what else have you been making with it??

    1. Apart from in one top secret recipe, so far in a simple potato curry, it was noticeably better than shop bought!

  2. This looks great! And I love the use of Capsicana chillies in it too! :-)