In India, just about every home has its own recipe for garam masala, which is the most common spice blend in the country and a cornerstone of the cuisines of South Asia. This recipe, which is sweeter and more minimalist than many other versions, is adapted from Floyd Cardoz, the pioneering Indian chef who opened Tabla and Bombay Bread Bar in New York. Versatile and aromatic, this blend can be used in everything from curries and dal to pumpkin pie and gingerbread.
- Serves: 1 person
- 10green cardamom pods (1 gram)
- 4black cardamom pods (5 grams)
- 6whole cloves (1 gram)
- 2(2-inch/5-gram) cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 3whole mace blades/arils (3 grams), see Note
- 3whole star anise pods (2 grams)
- 3bay leaves, preferably Indian
Step 1Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread spices on a small rimmed baking pan and toast until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let the spices cool.
Step 2Using a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind the spices until fine. If you like, you can strain the mix through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any coarse bits, but this is optional. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.