Basic Garam Masala

Here is a basic Garam Masala recipe that we can use on an everyday basis. Make it and use it and you’ll have a new flavor in life and in your food! AMAZING! And the best part is that it is so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you have not been doing it for all these years.

Scroll down for video.


Big Black Cardamom – 12 (10 g)
Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp (10 g)
Cloves – 1.5 tbsp (10g)
Whole Peppercorns -1 tsp (2.5g)
Cumin Seeds – 4 tsp (10 g)
Cinnamon Stick – 4 ” pc. (10g)


Black Cumin – 1 tsp
Green Cardamom – 2-3 (replace with 1 Black Cardamom)
Whole Peppercorns – to taste (to make spicer)


1. In a heavy bottom pan, all all the ingredients and heat on low-to-medium flame.
2. Keep stirring and cooking till there is a fantastic aroma and the coriander seeds change a little color.
3. Turn off the flame and transfer the whole spices to another dish to stop the cooking process.
4. Once they have cooled down to room temperature.
5. Break open the Black Cardamom and take out the seeds and use only seeds, discard the husk.
6. Grind to a fine powder and store in a dry air-tight container.
7. Use as required in cooking.


1. Break down the Cinnamon Stick pieces so they cook as the same time as the other ingredients.
2. Use the optional ingredients if you are doing a lot of mughalai cooking.
3. In India (even the store bought masalas) sometimes use (grind) the husk but we, who don’t have industrial size grinders find it hard to grind the husk to a fine powder. So if you do decide that you want to use the husk and not waste it, we suggest you sieve the powder so that all the fibers from the husk are out of the Garam Masala.

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54 thoughts on “Basic Garam Masala

  1. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Will prepare garam masala this way.

    Another TIP I hv for u

  2. Hi Hetal/Anuja

    Can i please have a recipe of home made “Taco seasoning mix”, If possible?


  3. Hi Anjul and Hetal,

    Thank you so much for posting this video and recipe, so simple and clearly explained.

    My father would always make our own Garam Masala, it makes a huge difference, I recently bought some from a store, but they didn’t get the quantities right and it tastes heavily of cinnamon which ruins the flavour, so I decided to make my own.

    Unfotunately they only sold cardamon seeds so I don’t know if they are black or green, do you have any idea what the quantity should be for the cardamon without the shells?


    1. Hi Salima,

      hmmm… this is only a guess but I would think about 20% – 25% of the weight comes from the shell so you would use that much less of the seeds. Again, this is only a guess as we have not used the seeds for this particular recipe before.

  4. Namaste Hetal and Anuja,

    I purchased the smallest amount of star anise I could find. There are not many recipes that call for this spice. When using it, is it supposed to be only the seeds that are used or the whole star? The shell / husk is not easily ground even when using the spice mill. I am just curious about this and any advise would be appreciated.

    An adoring fan, Rich

    1. Hi Rich,

      You use the whole star. In things like pulao, the whole star can be left whole. In recipes that require it to be ground, you can break it into small pieces before putting it into a spice mill.

  5. hi lady’s

    thanx for sharing, i lovelovelove smtc!

    a question: can i put the mix in a oven ( whitout oil) instaed cooking in a pan?

    1. Hi Fauzia,

      We have not tried the oven method but it should work. The only thing you should consider is that some of the spices may cook (and burn) faster than others.

  6. Hetal and Anuja,

    If there are any of your viewers in the Los Angeles area that do not know where to buy spices in bulk, I can help. The city of Artesia (Pioneer Bl and 186th St)has a large Indian population with shops that sell spices. One is a general grocery store with shelves full of spicy heady fragrances, all packaged and sold in various quantities. There are also at least five smaller shops with equally fresh, good quality whole spices in the same varied sizes. The smaller shops are more friendly and all staff members will go out their way to help you find something, explain what it is and how to use it, if you ask for assistance.
    Restaurants, sari and jewelry stores abound.

    Explore and have fun. Rich

  7. Love it!

    I went out and bought all the spices an hour ago and the smell in the house now is heady and wondrous.

    This site rocks!!!

  8. Thank you for this wonderful site. Using fresh spices makes such a difference in cooking- A question about Black Cardamom- when I cook with it in a recipe should it be shelled before use? thank you so much and keep posting these videos. I have learned so much.

    1. Hi Peggy,
      It is unbelievable how wonderful fresh spices are – definitely worth the effort and a lot of satisfaction 🙂
      While cooking Black Cardamom, it is better to leave it whole and then pull it out at the time of serving. It is easier to pull out the whole cardamom than to pull out the little seeds and it’s no fun biting them.

  9. Hello Anuja and Hetal,

    When you are making homemade masalas, is it recommended to keep them in one of the masala dabba cups or in a sealed jar? Can you make a lot and freeze? What is shelf/freezer life?

      1. Hi ConJe,

        No, heavy bottom pans are usually made from stainless steel. You should not dry roast anything in a teflon, non-stick pan.

    1. Hi Angel,

      Yes, it is very similar to the one we have. As long as you can remove the jar, you can grind wet and dry ingredients.

  10. I never knew about when to put unroasted Garam masala and roasted Garam masala when you are cooking. Thank you so much, I will keep that in mind when I venture into making curry dishes.

    also I am glad that the later videos that you have uploaded the two of you are wearing microphones, I notices in your earlier videos (like the Paneer video in odds and ends section) your voices are hard to hear since the camera is away from you. I am pleased to have discovered on youtube the pass couple of days. Thank thank for you video’s and your recipes, keep up the good work.

  11. Hi, Hetal and Anuja!

    Great yet simple and useful recipe!!!

    My mom has a similar “garam masala” powder recipe…the only difference she adds 2 to 3 tsp fennel seeds(saunf) to it…I shall post the recipe in SMTC community!

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!


  12. Great one!! Thank for the recipe. I love fresh things. Will try this.
    I don’t have a coffee grinder. Do you think a magic bullet might work?

        1. Hello Alexa,

          I apologize for not reading if you have received a reply. There are many websites online you can order all of your spices (and cookware) from online. Just Google Indian spices.

  13. Goodone! Can u tell me how much qty of garam masala will be thr if i use the above qty of spices ………so i can store and keep in one grinding itself

  14. Thanks. This is really nice. Could you please give us the recipe for chole masala? Some brands are so good and others are just about okay. I hope you guys can provide an authentic one.

    1. Hi R,

      My mom also makes her own chole masala and I have never ever been able to get myself to buy the store bought one! We will get her recipe and share it. Thanks for the feedback and thank God for Moms 😉

  15. Thank you for the guide and the blog in general. It’s very useful to see you actually doing the steps described in a given recipe.

    The Food Network could sure use your talents!

    About the masala, is it worth removing the black cardamom seeds before roasting?

    1. Hi Simon,

      We do not suggest removing the seeds prior bacause firstly the husk protects the seeds from burning (they cook really fast and tend to burn). You can cut it in half and then roast it, that is your other option!
      Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Shivu,
      We have used a ‘Hamilton Beach, Custom Grind Delux’ coffee grinder . This is a very old one and they have changed the design and style and unfortunately, the new one id not as good on grinding wet ingredients, for the dry ones it’s still great.
      Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Pinky,
      We suggest you substitute 1 black cardamom with 2-3 green cardamom. You can do that for 2-3 of them but would not suggest replacing all of it. It is a key ingredient…keep a few!

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