15 July 2015

Punjabi/North Indian Garam Masala recipe


 Remember those history lessons Yawning,what made India the center of attraction by every other civilizations ,royals,traders,voyagers etc around the world - "The spices" !!

During historic era,Spices became priceless and worth more than any Gold or diamonds ,they dragged Romans to Arabs to Jews to India,they were also the reason behind how Columbus discovered America and Vasco De Gama's voyage from Portugal to India.

The variety of exquisite flavors ,intense yet subtle aromas,therapeutic properties,pungency of spices that possessed the magical power to convert any ordinary dish to extra-ordinary, made them the most sought-after and inevitable in the preparation of appetizing food around the world .

Infact,from as early as 3000 B.C. ,Kerala,became the major spice trade center of the world and so,is famously known as "The land of spices".

The spices like Saffron,Cinnamon,Cardamom,cloves,Mace etc were considered the expensive ones while cumin,coriander,ginger etc were considered to be cheaper ones.The variety of Indian spices can be found here.

Ayurveda,the oldest healing practice / "Science of life "considers the spices to be wonder foods full of medicinal properties.That's how the name "Garam Masala" was coined .Garam means hot and Masala means spice mix.The hot here represents, to heat the body by elevating the body temperature ,aiding the proper digestion and thereby raising the metabolism of the human body . As per Ayurveda ,by using the right spices ,all six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent—at every main meal will enhance vitality, strength, immunity, and overall well being.

Therefore ,Garam masala has become the quintessential part of Indian gastronomy and the reason of it being the one-of-a-kind flavor inducing food item popular around the world.

As diverse India is,so are the type of garam masalas used here.It varies from state to state,town to town,home to home,person to person - carried on from one generation to another.And every spice used distinctly promotes unique and lip smacking flavors.

There are varieties of  Garam Masalas commercially available but the one made fresh at home is simply incomparable ! It can also act as an air freshener then.

When South Indian/Kerala Garam masala is made like this with a few spices ,the North Indian/Punjabi garam Masala is made like this with lots of spices (my version) of course.....

So,today I am going to share how I make Punjabi Garam Masala at home

Punjabi Garam Masala

Yields 4 oz


Coriander seeds - 4 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 3 tablespoons
Star Anise - 1 no.
Mace - 1-2 nos
Cardamom pods (Green)- 1 tablespoon
Cloves - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon (1")- 10 nos
Bayleaf - 1 no
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Caraway seeds - 3 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
Nutmeg - 1 teaspoon
Long pepper - 2 nos.(Optional)


  1. Dry roasting spices helps in releasing the natural oil in the whole spices and which further enhances the taste,aroma and potency and accentuates the flavor of a food to the next level.
  2. The exact time to roast depends upon the pan used like thick pan may take some more time and thinner may take less time ,then the quantity of spices used and the heat used to dry roast it.
  3. Always preheat the pan on high flame and then lower the heat to dry roast and keep on stirring otherwise if it takes longer time than needed, it may burn and turn the spices to bitter taste ,so always keep an eye when the spices may crackle or change color and exude strong aroma.That's when you've to stop.
  4. While using a thick pan,it may take only 30 seconds to 1 minute to dry roast after preheating.Thinner pans require additional caution.
  5. Always store it in an airtight container .It's better to make in smaller quantity as the potency of these spices tends to decrease with time.The fresher it is used,more flavorful and fresh curry etc will taste. 

I hope the smell of my spices woke you up because the history class is over people .Big grin