How to make garam masala

August 28, 2014


Ready powdered spices reign supreme in my kitchen. But for that extra special moment, a cheap coffee grinder doubles up as the spice grinder of my dreams.

Cheap equals value here, as grinder blades eventually dull. The best of the best are the ones with removeable bowls, for easy clean up. I confess now that I hate pestle and mortars: hard work and not worth the rough specks of spices that fly everywhere.

Garam masala is one of the most special spice mixes to make at home. Blindingly fragrant made fresh, it lifts the simplest of dishes with a sprinkle towards the end of cooking. In fact, adding it too early can turn the dish a tad bitter.

The actual spices that go in vary from household to household. I keep mine simple with 4 cardamoms, 8 black peppers, 8 cloves, 2 small bay leaves, 1 inch cinnamon and 1 tsp cumin. All whole, of course. You can add coriander seeds, dry dinger and even nutmeg to make yours as you like it.

My new video shows you how to make garam masala. How do you like yours?


9 Responses to “How To Store Spices”

  1. Boon Says:

    June 28th, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I wash out jam jars, my husband makes a label and we use them for our spices!

  2. Selma @ Selma's Table Says:

    June 28th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I used to use those Bonne Mamman jam jars – they fit perfectly in my kitchen drawer so I used to stick a label on top of the red gingham lids. It was a brilliant way to store and see where everything was too. Alas, we moved and the drawers in the new kitchen are shallower so the jars don’t fit… Now I use little Kilner clip top jars in various sizes. They are in a wall cupboard and I have to shift lots of bottles around to get to what I want!

  3. Mallika Says:

    June 28th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Boon, good thinking! I tried that with empty coffee containers but soon got a higgledly piggledy collection of jars!!

    Hi Selma, I know what you mean with moving bottle around! And I forgot to mention I don’t label spices, so dhania, jeera and garam masala often get opened for a big whiff before use :-/

  4. Renuka Says:

    July 4th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Ditto for the higgledy piggledy collection of jars – except mine is a mix of baby food and jam jars – and for the big whiff before use. Husband begs me to figure out what is what and label’em so he can cook in peace but hey, 25 days a month in the kitchen makes me the primary user, right?

  5. Cindy Says:

    July 7th, 2014 at 3:45 am

    We keep ours in the freezer! A chef in a cooking class once recommended this to me for extending their freshness. They’re all in little stackable plastic containers that I can wash and relabel as needed.

  6. Hanna Says:

    July 7th, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    What kind of jars do you use to store the spices? Are they airtight? I am looking for glass jars to replace my plastic containers I use now and would love to know what kind you use and if you have suggestions for the brands?


  7. Mallika Says:

    July 13th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Ha ha Renuka, that pretty much seals your position as head kitchen honcho!

    Hi Cindy, I am most intrigued! Is that the whole spices or the powdered ones too?

    Hi Hanna, I use little glass jars that are sold most economically in Ikea. The bigger ones are tradtionally kilner jars and they wash like a dream in the dishwasher. Does this help?

  8. Mollie at Yumbles Says:

    July 16th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Useful tips, thank you! Kilner jars full of spices look so pretty too :)

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