Whole spices in a spice grinder.
Condiments & Sauces,  Recipes,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Punjabi-Style Warming Spice Blend (Punjabi Garam Masala)

I made this spice blend to go use in the recipe I made tonight. It smelled fantastic! The only change I made was to use white cardamom pods instead of black since that’s what I had in the kitchen.

Whole spices in a spice grinder.

Punjabi-Style Warming Spice Blend (Punjabi Garam Masala)

Punjabi-Style Warming Spice Blend (Punjabi Garam Masala)
660 Curries: The Gateway to Indian Cooking – Raghaven Iyer

Makes about 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds from black pods
3 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long), broken into smaller pieces
3 fresh or dried bay leaves

1. Preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add all the spices and the bay leaves, and toast, shaking the skillet every few seconds, until the coriander and cumin turn reddish brown, the cloves, peppercorns, and cardamom turn ash-black, the cinnamon and bay leaves appear brittle and crinkly, and the mixture is highly fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Immediately transfer the nutty-smelling spices to a plate to cool. (The longer they sit in the hot skillet, the more likely it is that they will burn, making them bitter and unpalatable.) Once they are cool to the touch, place them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, and grind until the texture resembles that of finely ground black pepper. (If you don’t allow the spices to cool, the ground blend will acquire unwanted moisture from the heat, making the final blend slightly “cakey.”) The ground blend will be reddish brown and the aroma will be sweet and complex, very different from that of the pre-toasted and post-toasted whole spices.

3. Store in a tightly sealed container, away from excess light, heat, and humidity, for up to 2 months. (In my opinion, refrigerating the blend adversely affects its flavor.)

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

One Comment

  • Angelica

    I am so sick of my coffee grinder from the olden days. I am going out to buy myself a new, electric coffee grinder so I can make this spice blend, first thing tomorrow after work!

    Thanks for sharing!

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