Spices are the most important ingredient in Indian cuisine. One of those spices or rather spice mixture you’ll come across most often in Indian recipes is Garam Masala. I’ve come across so many variations that I get the feeling that every family or region has their own unique recipe. These days you can find ready made mixtures in virtually any store. But the commercially prepared doesn’t even come close to the aromatic freshly ground home made Garam Masala. Ground or crushed spices don’t have the same aromas as their whole counterparts, ground spices have a shorter shelf life than whole and generally whole spices are cheaper. Also some of the lower quality curry brands will substitute cheaper spices for the more expensive ones like cardamom or nutmeg.
You will also need a pan, a mortar and pestle or coffee bean grinder or spice grinder.
3. Add all of your spices to your mortar or coffee/spice grinder. I like to use a mortar and pestle to easily control how fine I want the mixture. Now time to use those muscles and start grinding the spices.
You’ve just made your first Garam Masala and by now your kitchen and house will come alive with all the wonderful smells. The slight sweetness from the cinnamon, the spiciness of the pepper and cloves, a hint of citrus from the coriander seeds, a little lemony scent from the cardamom. Go ahead taste it, now tell me that doesn’t taste 100 times better than the prepackaged stuff?, not even a comparison.