Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a common combination of spices used in Indian cooking. The spices used will vary according to the region and personal taste but below is one of my favorites.  Garam means ‘hot’ and masala means ‘spice,’ it is not spicy hot, but rather full of spice and flavor! You can purchase garam masala in stores although I think it is well worth the effort to make it at home as I have never found a store bought version this good! If grinding with a mortar and pestle it will take some patience, the easy route for grinding is a coffee grinder that is reserved only for grinding spices (don’t use a grinder that has been used already on coffee, it will taste like coffee, promise it will).  I often make a batch of garam masala and store it in a mason jar in the pantry for several months.  It is a wonderful addition to vegetable or meat curries.
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. whole black pepper corns
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
In a heavy pan (I use cast iron) on medium heat roast all of the spices, stirring occasionally to roast evenly, until they become quite fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.  Let them cool completely then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.

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