Makes about 4 tablespoons
This garam masala is the base of much of my Indian cooking. I’ve tried many different recipes, but this is Raghavan Iyer’s recipe (of 660 Curries fame), and he has been generous enough to allow me and all who cook from my recipes to use it. Everyone who has tried it will agree—store-bought garam masalas cannot hold a candle to this recipe. Trust my advice and take the ten minutes to make it. You’ll thank me.
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Dietary Considerations: Suitable for all diets
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (from green/white pods)
2 dried bay leaves
3 dried red chiles, or
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 (2-inch) piece Indian cinnamon (cassia bark), or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder, combine all the ingredients. Grind, shaking the grinder gently as you go so all the seeds and bits get into the blades, until the mixture has the consistency of a moderately fine powder.
Unplug the grinder and turn it upside down. (You want all the spice mixture to collect in the lid so you can easily scoop it out without cutting yourself playing about the blades.)
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Shake or stir before using.