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Garam Masala which literally means hot (Garam) spice (Masala) is not an spice in itself. It is a spice blend used throughout India and the rest of the Indian Subcontinent.

This special blend of spice is used in a small quantity at the end of cooking or fried in the beginning of cooking to add a subtle flavor to the cooked dish. 

Many different kind of Garam Masala is found depending on the region and the personal taste. Garam Masala can be found easily in international section of any big groceries store or in any Indian or South Asian shops. The most common way of making Garam Masala is given below.


30 green cardamom pods
15 cloves (laung)
5 black cardamom pods
4 pieces mace
4 pieces cinnamon (2.5 squared cm)(dalchini)
5 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)


  1. Place all the spices in a dry-frying pan or skillet and heat over a very low heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the aroma from the spices begins, remove the pan from the heat. This step is to release the aromatic oils from the spices.
  2. Working with only a small quantity at a time, put the spices in an electric blender to grind it to a fine powder. Remove the cardamom pod skins. Allow to cool.
  3. Store the Garam Masala in an air-tight container. As long as the container is tightly closed after each use, it should last for a long time.
Chickpea Curry with Garam Masala

1 tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 tbsp oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 inch piece root ginger (grated)
¼ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp salt
1 fresh tomato (chopped or 1 small tin of tomatoes)
a pinch of garam masala

1. Heat a deep saucepan or a medium sized wok and add the oil or butter followed by the onions and garlic.
2. Fry the mixture till the onions are caramelised. Then add the salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red chilli powders. Mix for a minute and tip in the tomatoes. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken.
3. Add ¼ cup of water and stir. Then tip in the chickpeas and mix. Mash a few of the chickpeas while cooking. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the ginger and the garam masala. Cook for another minute.

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