Garam masala is available from the grocery stores, certainly in Asia. The issue is that in India, garam masala has a different composition in each household and what one is buying will have also. I prefer to use the whole spices.  Then toast them first before grinding. Store in a re-sealable plastic bag or glass container.

The art of making garam masala

It is all about freshness, whole spices, types and ratios.  Toasting the spices usually makes them more fragrant and brittle, which in turn helps the grinding.  In general garam masala has at the least the following spices: nutmeg, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dried bay leaves. For grinding use the kitchen blender or the kitchen blender accessory of the immersion blender. If that is not available use a grater and a mortar and pestle. And if you do not have that, then put the toasted spices in a zip-lock plastic bag place it on a wooden board and use the dough pin!

Special equipment

  • kitchen blender or
  • kitchen blender accessory of the immersion blender or
  • mortar and pestle and a grater or
  • a zip lock bag on a wooden board and a dough pan (and the grater may still be useful).
garam masala ingredients photo: ©️Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Garam Masala

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Staple ingredient
Cuisine Indian



  • 0.3 oz (8 g) coriander seeds
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) cumin seeds
  • 0.14 oz (4 g or around 2 tsp) whole black cloves
  • 0.3 oz (8 g) cardomom seeds
  • 0.3 oz (8 g) dried bay leaves
  • 0.3 oz (8 g) black pepper corns
  • 0.3 oz (8 g) cinnamon bark
  • 0.14 oz (4 g) nutmeg



  • Lightly toast the spices in an open, heavy bottomed pan, until fragrant and let them cool down on a plate
  • Grind the mixture in a kitchen blender until fine. Alternatively, grate the nutmeg and cinnamon bark (or use the powdered versions), cut the bay leaves very fine and grind the other seeds in a mortar and pestle.


Method: no heat treatment
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
Keyword garam masala


  1. The mixture can be stored for several months in a sealed bag.

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