Various sources including books and friends gave me an idea of the main ingredients of garam masala. I just went with my instincts on the quantities to be used in the masala.The results were awesome, the masala was so very fragrant and flavorful. Unlike some of the masalas that are required in south Indian cooking like this molaga podi (spice powder) or this thengai podi (coconut- lentil powder), making garam masala is much more simpler. It only entails a light roasting of all the spices together, some cooling and grinding and voila you have a garam masala that is miles ahead in terms of taste and flavor when compared to store bought ones.
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Ingredients and Method to make Garam Masala
1/4 cup fennel seeds (saunf)
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
5 Dry red chili
7 - 1 inch cinnamon sticks
12 Black cardamom pods
1 tbsp cloves
10 small or 5 large bay leaves
5 star anise
1 tbsp black cumin seeds (shah jeera)
1 tbsp whole black pepper
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
Dry roast all the spices together on low heat in a heavy bottomed pan for 4 to 5 minutes or until aromatic.
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Cool and powder in the spice grinder or a coffee bean grinder until fine. Remove and store in an air tight container or bottle and use as required in recipes.
Some recipes that use Garam masala
Matar Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese and peas curry )
Gobi Chana Masala (Cauliflower and chickpeas curry)
Chana Palak (Spinach and Chickpeas curry)
Mushroom Peas curry with yogurt tomato gravy
Rajma (Red Kidney Bean Curry)