How to Make a Classic Garam Masala

Simon Majumdar


This staple spice blend will give any Indian dish authentic, complex flavor.

How to Make a Classic Garam Masala 09:28

Simon Majumdar

This staple spice blend will give any Indian dish authentic, complex flavor.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Place a wide, dry frying pan over very low heat. Add each of the spices, one at a time. Once they are all in the pan, move them around with your fingertips to prevent them from burning. Smell the spices to monitor the cooking process. When the spices are properly toasted they will emit a spicy aroma and take on a golden brown hue. 01:32

  2. 2. Pour the toasted spices into the base of a spice grinder. Grind until the spice mix is flaky, but not a fine powder. Check every few seconds. Store in an airtight container. 06:43

What You'll Need


- Electric spice grinder
- Wide frying pan


- Cloves (3)
- Fennel seed (1 teaspoon)
- Mustard seed (1 teaspoon)
- Cumin seeds (1 teaspoon)
- Black peppercorns (1/4 tablespoon)
- Fenugreek seed (1 teaspoon)
- Coriander seed (1 teaspoon)
- Dry red chilies (2)
- Fresh red chili (1)
- Dried bay leaves (2)
- Black cardamom (1)
- Green Cardamom (3)
- Whole nutmeg (1)

Chef Notes

The recipe demonstrated in this tutorial will yield about 1/4 cup of garam masala.

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices that has endless applications in Indian cuisine. ‘Garam’ means hot or spicy, and ‘masala’ means mix. The blend is typically added during the final steps of the cooking process.

Toasting spices helps to draw out the natural flavors. When toasting spices, be careful not to let them burn. Burnt spices are bitter and unpalatable.

Black cardamom is the fully matured state of cardamom and has been dried out. Green cardamom is picked earlier in its lifecycle and is cured for a different flavor.

The purposes of grinding spices are to release the flavorful oils, and to increase the surface area of the spice. The smaller the piece, the greater the surface area and the more integrated it becomes in the food to which it is added.

An electric spice grinder can be purchased at any cooking supply store.


Sign up to leave a comment

Taught by

Simon profile2

Chef Simon Majumdar

Los Angeles

At the age of 40, Simon began having a midlife crisis. He quit his publishing job and set off on a journey across 31 countrie... read more