Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Here’s some quick information on a spice that I frequently use in Indian cooking. “Garam masala” is a spice that is simply a ground up combination of several different spices such as clove and black pepper. I would compare this to something like the pumpkin pie spice bottles you can find at grocery stores. You could buy ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg all separately and combine them yourself to use in pumpkin pie. Or, you could buy pumpkin pie spice.

Although garam masala will taste completely different depending on the region of India it comes from, the one I use has equal parts of the following ingredients. This combination is used in many North Indian dishes (the majority of the Indian dishes on Spicy Spoonful are North Indian). To keep things as fresh as possible, buy whole seeds of each of these ingredients and grind them into a powder.

  1. Clove
  2. Black Pepper
  3. White Pepper
  4. Cardamom
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Cumin
  7. Coriander

That said, mainstream brands like Simply Organic and McCormick make garam masala. So go ahead and grab some of this versatile blend of spices or make it yourself. If you’re going to be cooking Indian food, you’ll probably find use for it in several recipes (Yogurt Mint Dip anyone?!).

PS. Find this and other neat tips and tricks on my tips and tricks page :)



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  1. Shobelyn says:

    Thanks Nadia for this info. Chances are , I am going to make this myself since I have all of the ingredients needed to make garam masala are in my pantry. Two weeks ago, I was gonna ask one of my husband’s friend what masala means and where to get them. I had no idea that Mc Cormick carry it. What do they call it in the stores? Is it in the Mc Cormick aisle? TY

    • Nadia says:

      Hey Shobelyn! McCormick carries it and it’s called “Garam Masala” right on the bottle and it should be in the spices aisle. It’s a brown color if that helps! If you can’t find it there, maybe check the “ethnic foods” aisle for good measure. Good luck finding it and/or making it at home :)

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