Today I’m working on cooking an Indian dish and to make it I need a very special spice blend that I will be showing you how to make today. It’s used in many Indian dishes and it is no less then delicious. The dish I’m making this for is Palak Paneer which is a mixture of spinach and paneer cheese that also includes garam masala. To start we need these ingredients.
- ¼ cup of whole coriander seeds
- ¼ cup of whole cumin seeds
- 1 heaping tablespoon of whole green cardamom pods
- 2- 2 inch cinnamon sticks (broken into small pieces)
- 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ teaspoons of whole cloves
- A clean coffee grinder
- A heavy cast iron skillet
Now we can start on our garam masala spice blend. Garam masala is a highly aromatic spice blend which is classic to north India. It consists of several roasted and ground spices. Garam means warm or hot, and masala means spice or blend of spices. The spices you will need are: 1 quarter of a cup of whole coriander seeds, 1 quarter cup of whole cumin seeds, 1 heaping tablespoon of whole green cardamom pods, 2 2-inch cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces, 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, and 1 and one half teaspoons of whole cloves. You will also need a heavy cast iron skillet. Put your cast iron skillet on your stove element. Heat over medium low heat for a few minutes until it is hot. Once your skillet is nice and hot, it’s time to add in all of these wonderful spices. Slowly dry roast the spices stirring occasionally until they become very aromatic and you notice they have darkened a few shades. When you think they are finished, transfer them to a plate and let them cool completely.
You can use a spoon to mix them around a little on the plate to help with the cooling process. Once your spice mixture is cooled completely it’s time to take out your clean coffee grinder that you use only for spices. You can grind your spices in batches if you need too but if your coffee grinder is large enough you can just spoon the whole mixture in. Now you just grind up the mixture until it resembles the right consistency you’re looking for in your garam masala. I suggest you press the button a few seconds at a time so you can keep an eye on it. When it’s done it should be a very, very fine blend that looks like you bought it in the store. Garam masala can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months so your left over spice won’t need to be thrown in the organics bin; you’ll be able to use it many times to come. Garam masala is a spice blend that can be tweaked in different ways. Many cooks like to add a little less or a little more of the different spices to have it taste how they desire. Your garam masala is ready for use.