Garam masala is a mixture of different spices and there are dozens of different recipes for garam masala.
There are lots of different recipes for garam masala and there are some on the Curry Focus website. The masala and spice page has garam masala recipes.
Which recipe is the best? Well, it’s all a matter of taste. The only way to find out is to try out different recipes and find out the one that you like the best. And you can adjust the ingredients to suit your own tastes if you make your own.
As you can see from the recipes, all that is really involved is dry cooking cinnamon and spice seeds for two minutes and then turning them into a powder that you add to dishes when you’re cooking them.
You can grind the cooked ingredients into a powder by using either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
A mortar and pestle is a bowl and a stick-like implement that you use to grind the spices. You put the spices into the mortar and grind, or pound, them with the pestle. This is obviously a labour-intensive process.
A spice grinder is usually just a coffee grinder that is used to grind spices. It’s essential that you keep your spice grinder separate to your coffer grinder, if you have one, otherwise you’ll end up drinking spicy coffee.
Which is best way to grind the spices? Whatever you like. Most people go for the convenience of using a spice grinder but some purists would never, ever, do this and always use a mortar and pestle.
Spices do start to quickly lose their flavour and potency once they have been turned into a powder. So don’t make too much garam masala at a time. Aim to produce only enough garam masala to last you for a month. You can probably keep garam masala powder in airtight containers for up to three months but I wouldn’t recommend keeping garam masala longer than this.
Of course, you can always take the ultimate shortcut and buy garam masala from a shop or supermarket. But where’s the fun in that?