Garam Masala Recipe

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Find out what's in garam masala and try our simple recipe to make your own! No need to buy it pre-mixed!

Used frequently in Indian cooking, garam masala is mix of ground spices, but there is no standard recipe for it. This tends to beg the question - just what’s in garam masala?

Garam Masala Recipe Photo

Let’s first of all understand exactly what garam masala is.

‘Garam’ means hot and ‘masala’ means spices, although the term garam does not necessarily refer to hot as being spicy hot.

Instead, it is the rich warmth provided by the blend of spices.

North vs South

In North India you will typically find garam masala used as a powder, whereas in South India it is more of a paste in which the spices are mixed with either coconut milk, vinegar or water.

Furthermore, the garam masala that you will find in the northern parts of India tend to only use black pepper as the sole spicy ingredient, with the other spices being more aromatic and sweet.

The further south you go, you will find that dried red chilli is often added, making it spicier than the garam masala you will find in the north. 

Easy Chicken Curry Picture

How Do You Use Garam Masala?

Using garam masala helps to balance flavors within your dish and can reduce the need for too much salt.

Not only is it a delicious spice blend to add to your dishes, but it also has a range of health benefits such as boosting your digestion and metabolism.

Many of the spices found in garam masala are full of antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation. It  also helps to reduce bloating and gas and can even tackle bad breath!  

Quick Chicken Curry Image

What Is in Garam Masala?

The typical spices used in garam masala include:

  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg 
Coconut Chicken Curry Pic

However, you can also find some garam masala recipes that include: 

  • Turmeric
  • Saffron
  • Fennel seeds
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Mustard seed
  • Mace
  • Star anise 
  • Tamarind
  • Fenugreek
  • Bay leaves
  • Malabar leaves
  • Dried red chilli  

As there is no standard when it comes to garam masala, you can create it as spicy or as warm as you would like.

We prefer more of a warm garam masala and then spice up our dish with the addition of hot peppers as we go along.

Spice Mix Photo

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!


We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!


Garam Masala Recipe

  10 Servings


  • 3 tablespoons Coriander Seed
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves


  1. Begin by toasting coriander, cumin, cardamom and peppercorns in a skillet over medium heat. Shake the skillet and stir occasionally to toast the spices evenly.
  2. Once the spices are toasted and the aromas released, remove them and set aside. 
  3. In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, grind the cooled spices.
  4. Add in the grated nutmeg.
  5. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.  
Cooking Method:
No Cook
Homemade Spices
, , ,
Related Recipes:
Indian Recipes, Homemade Spice Recipes, No Cook Recipes, Easy Recipes
Recipe Yields:
10 tablespoons
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Related Posts:
Author: Amber Bracegirdle
Recipe Yields: 10 tablespoons
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 tablespoon
Servings Per Recipe 10

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
Calories 9

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
  Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 0g
Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".

Show Comments