All-Purpose Garam Masala

Garam Masala is literally translated as “hot spice mix”, but the “hot” refers to the intensity of the spices and the heat they generate in the body – not the pungency we associate with chillis. The spice mix can be bought pre-prepared and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but you should prepare your own if you’re doing a special dish. The flavour is so much better.

This is a more all-purpose spice preparation, a little less intense the the roasted version which I think it is better suited to meat curries like vindaloo or rogan josh. I orginally made this recipe for my Bombay Pantry Chicken Curry but it’s so good I now always keep this in my masala dabba. The addition of half a teaspoon of this masala at the end of cooking really brightens the flavour of any Indian dish.


  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp green cardamoms
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 brown cardamoms
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick

Grind the spices using a coffee/spice grinder and store in an airtight jar. The mixture will stay fresh for a couple of weeks, but freshly ground is always best.



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