A delicious homemade Garam Masala recipe! It’s a well balanced, richly flavorful spice blend that’s truly a queen of spices. It’s one of the easiest ways to build up and infuse an abundance of flavor into a dish, and when you make it from scratch you’ll never want to use store-bought again!
What is Garam Masala
Garam masala is an aromatic blend of ground spices used in Indian, Pakistani, Afghan, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan cuisines. The most common type originated from Northern India.
It is used to season and bring complex flavor to curries, meat and fish dishes, lentil and vegetarian dishes, soups and more.
While you can usually find garam masala in a pre-mixed spice blend by the other spices in the baking isle at your local grocery store I highly recommend making it yourself at home. Why? It has a lot more flavor, you can control the amount of each spice that goes into it (store-bought blends vary widely in spices used and amounts), and you can also control heat.
Some store-bought blends in my opinion have way too much of one spice and lack another. Some are so peppery they don’t leave a whole lot of room to taste much else.
Homemade spice blends, such as this, may take a little bit of extra effort but I promise you they are worth it!
When you are short on time, or if you are having a hard time finding whole spices I’ve also included measurements for a fast and easy recipe using using pre-ground spices.
If possible though I highly recommend trying the whole and freshly ground, they create that practically irreplaceable flavor.
What does Garam Masala taste like?
Garam masala tastes warm and earthy, lightly sweet, peppery and somewhat spicy, with hints of floral notes.
The taste can vary from blend to blend depending on various spices and ratios of each added. For or instance, here I like to add fennel seeds which adds faint hints of black licorice and bay leaves that add an ever so light herbal taste. They aren’t always typical but I like that extra something.
Recommended Spice Storage
- Garam masala should be stored in a well sealed airtight container, in a cool dry place away from sunlight.
- For optimal flavor it should be used within 6 months.
- You can up-cycle and use an old empty spice jars, or if you don’t have any you can buy the same spice jar set I have HERE (as pictured above). It includes tons of pre-printed labels (and plenty of blank labels too).
- I recently organized my spice drawer and bought this expandable spice drawer rack too HERE, if you’re interested (just be sure to measure to ensure it will fit). It’s been a game changer in quickly finding the spices I need for cooking.
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