This is an essential spice mix for the majority of Indian cookery. Many recipes will include their own Garam Masala mix but this almost always includes the dreaded cinnamon. The shop-bought Garam Masala will always have cinnamon in it, and usually cloves and nutmeg too!
Inspired by the wide range of Garam Masala spice mixes in my new curry recipe book, this is my version, free of all the nasties and safe for the vast majority of us.
2 to 3 star anise
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 tbsp green cardamon pods
1 tbsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
1 tbsp either coriander seeds or ground coriander
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1. put all spices in a dry, non-stick frying pan and warm slightly – this makes them far easier to grind, especially if grinding by hand.
2. grind to a powder, either by using an electric grinder of some sort or a pestle and mortar – if doing it by hand, you may wish to have a separate bowl and small sieve to hand, and keep sifting out the sufficiently ground spices so that your pestle isn’t too full and you can see how far you have to go.
3. put into a sealed jar and keep in a dry, dark cupboard. Is supposed to keep it’s flavour for 4 to 5 weeks.