Garam masala is the quintessential North Indian spice blend. Every household in the region has its own version, and this is my family’s take on it. In Hindi, garam means “warm” or “hot,” and masala means a “blend of spices.” The combination is a warm, woody taste that adds depth and texture to any dish.
1. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow, heavy pan over medium heat and dry roast the spices for 4 minutes. During the entire cooking time, shake the pan every 15 to 20 seconds to prevent the spices from burning. The mixture should be just toasted and aromatic. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Place the cooled, roasted spices in a spice grinder or a powerful blender, such as a Vitamix, and process into a fine powder. Take your time, as this may take a few minutes. If your spice grinder is small, you may need to grind it in several small batches. Sift after grinding to refine the powder or use as is.
3. Store in an airtight (preferably glass) jar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.