Garam Masala Recipe

Chef Bryan’s simple Garam Masala Recipe is a traditional Indian spice blend great for meat and poultry dishes, and also lends lots of flavor to beans, soups and rice. Stored in an airtight container, it will last for 2 – 3 months. We use it to flavor two of our Recovery Cafe recipes: Tandoori Chicken and Rice Pudding {coming soon}.

garam masala

Standard garam masalas often use black cardamom, which has a dark brown/reddish pod and a slightly more vibrant taste than that of green cardamom. Here we use the green variety for ease and availability. It enhances sweet and savory flavors, and has a strong and penetrating fruity aroma.

If you are unfamiliar with cardamom, it is a warm and earthy spice, and has been used in India for 2,000 years or so. It is best bought as whole pods, and should be green and plump. Husk the shells by penetrating with your thumbnail (or place on a towel and whack with the butt of a knife) and fish out the seeds. They sort of resemble small animal poop and are black and sticky, if really fresh.

green cardamom

You’ll get a sense of medal-worthy achievement after picking cardamom seeds since it takes quite a while, but inhaling the warm aroma of complex flavors wafting throughout your kitchen is well worth the effort.

Spices are best stored whole and ground as needed, so often what we buy ground at the grocery has lost much of its aroma and flavor. Many spices, especially cardamom, start to lose their aroma within hours after grinding. When you grind and toast your own, you get max flavor potential. When you pick your own cardamom seeds, you get an invisible Medal of Patience from the Universe.

I know most folks don’t want to spend an hour picking cardamom seeds, so we will eventually share ground spice equivalents. However, we really encourage you to try it from start to finish. I took my seeds outside on a pretty day and picked each and every one. There were definitely moments when I wanted to say “___ it,” but I eventually turned it into sort of a dynamic meditation, using the time to just be present.

If this sounds ridiculous to you, get your kids or your significant other involved and use it as time to talk with each other. Or grab your best friend and sit there gossiping, whatever works for you.

Either way, you will end up with enough to add to recipes for weeks, depending on how often you use it. One hour of picking ain’t gonna kill ya.

Indian Garam Masala

{printable recipe available at the end of this post.}

Yields: approximately 4oz or 2/3 cup

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Green Cardamom Pods
  • 3 Tbsp Cloves, whole
  • 2ea Cinnamon Sticks, whole
  • 1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns, whole

spices

Directions

Remove seeds from cardamom pods and discard the pods.

cardamom husked

Break cinnamon into smaller pieces {I didn’t do this the first time and had a hard time getting them to toast evenly}.

Combine all spices in a saucepan and dry roast over medium heat until fragrant.

toasting

Let cool, then toss in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. {I use my Nutribullet as my spice grinder and dedicate the dry blade and one small container for grinding spices.}

grinding

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Now go make some Tandoori Chicken!

Garam Masala Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This simple garam masala spice blend is great for meat and poultry dishes, and also lends a very nice flavor to beans, soups and rice. Stored in an airtight container, it will last for 2 – 3 months. We use it to flavor tandoori chicken and rice pudding in our Recovery Café recipes. Enjoy!
Author:
Recipe type: Basic
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 oz
Ingredients
  • ¼ Cup Green Cardamom Pods
  • 3Tbsp Cloves, whole
  • 2ea Cinnamon Sticks, whole
  • 1Tbsp Black Peppercorns, whole
Instructions
  1. Remove seeds from cardamom pods and discard the pods. Break cinnamon into smaller pieces.
  2. Combine all spices in a saucepan and dry roast over medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Let cool, then toss in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.
  4. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.