Skip to Content

Homemade Garam Masala

Homemade Garam Masala

Learn how to make a cracker of a Homemade Garam Masala blend using whole roasted spices. Here’s a list of spices you need to jazz up any North Indian dish, from curry and pulao, to samosas and parathas.

My blend uses plenty of aromatics and not too much heat. This is so you can adjust the spice level of the dishes you cook. Easy!

What is Garam Masala?

Garam masala (Hindi: गरम मसाला) is a blend of warming spices, used most often in North Indian recipes.

Why? The cooler climate calls and rich Mughlai and Central Asian influences on North Indian cuisine are very well suited to the “garam” (warm) spices in garam masala.

Garam masala is a flavour protagonist in lots of North Indian sub-cuisines: Awadhi, Rajasthani, Bihari, Punjabi and Himachali to name a handful.

Step by step masala recipe

Which other cuisines use Garam Masala?

The use of this aromatic and warming blend of spices extends beyond the borders of India.

Indeed, Garam Masala is a popular in Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, African, Caribbean and Afghan cuisines. Garam masala is a blend that also features heavily in British Indian Restaurant (BIR) cookery.

What is Garam Masala made from?

What is Garam Masala?

Almost every family will have their own preferences. There is no one-size fits all answer.

Most recipes for garam masala call for a varying blend of the following spices:

Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, Indian bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon (or cassia), nutmeg, mace, peppercorns, black and green cardamom.

Some recipes call for dried chillies, while others do not. Other additions can include ajwain and asafoetida. It simply depends on individual preference.

Is Garam Masala the same as curry powder?

No. Curry powder is a generic name for any blend of spices. Usually curry powder is specific to the region in which it is developed. Curry powder is usually yellow in colour (due to the addition of turmeric), whereas garam masala is typically brown.

Many world cuisines extending from Asia to the Caribbean have their own unique curry powders.

Garam masala refers specifically to an Indian-style blend of spices.

Some of my favourite recipes that call for Garam Masala

Homemade vs. shop bought

There’s no denying the heady wave of flavour homemade garam masala brings. Add it to a curry, samosa filling or rice dish and it surpasses mediocrity and becomes a complete flavour bomb.

Having said this, I always keep a good blend of shop-bought Garam Masala in my cupboard for when I’m short of time and the homemade stuff.

I like both Jalpur Millers Garam Masala and BART Punjab Masala when it comes to the shop bought kind.

Does roasting masalas shorten their shelf life?

In short, yes. Applying heat to spices teases out their natural oils and flavours.

How to store this masala

I advise you make any homemade masala in small batches and use within 6 months. Keep in an airtight container to prolong flavour and freshness.

Tips for making Homemade Garam Masala

  • A dry frying pan is perfect for getting the spices nicely toasty. You don’t need to use oil for dry masalas.
  • Don’t toast the spices over a high heat. A low heat will help coax the oils from the whole spices perfectly. Patience pays off.
  • Keep the spices moving the whole time they’re in the pan to ensure they don’t burn. They have a tendency to catch in hotspots.
  • Let the spices cool completely before you grind them.
  • Store the Homemade Garam Masala in an airtight jar or container for up to six months. It’s okay to leave it beyond this date but the spices may lose some of their potency.
  • I recommend making masalas in small batches so you can use them at their best.

Shop my Homemade Garam Masala: Spices & equipment

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. These are all products I have purchased of my own accord and ones that I use myself. None of the products mentioned have been gifted to me. By using an affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no expense to you. This commission helps to support this blog. Thanks in advance if you choose to make a purchase through these links!

Homemade Garam Masala recipe

Homemade Garam Masala

Homemade Garam Masala

Learn how to make a cracker of a Garam Masala blend using whole roasted spices. Here's a list of spices you need to jazz up any North Indian dish, from curry and pulao, to samosas and parathas.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: masala, spice blends
Author: Sanjana


  • 40 g coriander seeds
  • 30 g cumin seeds
  • 20 green cardamom
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 black cardamom
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 blades mace
  • 12 cm cinnamon stick or cassia, broken (10g)
  • 2 star anise broken
  • 10 g fennel seeds
  • 5 g black peppercorns
  • 1 small nutmeg


  • Heat a dry frying pan or saucepan over a low heat. Add all the whole spices and stir to combine. Cook over a medium-low heat for about a 4 minutes, stirring all the time to ensure the spices don't burn. Allow to cool.
  • Pile the spices into a spice grinder or the bowl of a mixer/grinder (recommendations for these are included in the blog post above). Blend until the mixture becomes a fine powder. You might need to stop and stir everything once or twice to ensure all the spices are getting some blade time.
  • Sieve the masala to ensure no large pieces or whole spices remain. If they do, just blend them again and sieve into the rest of the mixture.
  • Pile the mixture into an airtight container or jar. This garam masala will keep well for a year but is best used within 6 months.

Recipe Video

Share your remakes with me!Follow me on Instagram @Sanjana.Feasts and tag #SanjanaFeasts for a chance to be featured!

If you like this, you’ll love my recipe for Garam Masala Potato Gratin

Indian potato gratin recipe
As soon as Autumn swings around I yearn for soothing, soul-warming Garam Masala Potato Gratin. This simple double potato concoction with cream and freshly-ground spices is a dish I crave often.

More recipes you might like

All-In-One Biryani Masala
Aromatic masala that's perfect for any biryani preparation. Set aside your packet of biryani masala and try this beautifully-fragrant biryani masala inspired by the flavours of north India. Just add two tablespoons of masala per 1.5kg of vegetables or protein. No need to add additional ginger, garlic, chilli or salt because this masala contains it all.
Check out this recipe
Biryani Masala recipe
Achaari Mushroom Kebabs
Juicy king oyster mushrooms make for a robust vegan meal when paired with salad and naan. These slices of king oyster are first marinated in spicy achaar masala and then grilled until almost meaty in texture. Serve in grilled naan with a pickled chilli salad and vegan mint mayo for desi kebab shop vibes.
Check out this recipe
Achaari King Oyster Mushrooms
Tandoori Hasselback Potatoes
These beautiful Tandoori Hasselback Potatoes are super simple to prepare and taste amazing too. With hedgehog-like slits all across the surface, the skin becomes ultra-crispy and the inside remains soft and fluffy.
Check out this recipe
Tandoori Hasselback Potatoes

Love Sanjana

Share this recipe

Recipe Rating

Vegan Katsu Curry - Delicious Japanese Curry - Sanjana.Feasts

Thursday 18th of May 2023

[…] blend, or make your own.Chinese 5-spice: Again use shop bought or homemade.Garam masala: Try my Homemade Garam Masala recipe, or buy it premade.Coconut milk: I use full fat coconut milk for the best emulsification into a […]

Paneer Masala Dosa - Indian Breakfast Recipes - Sanjana.Feasts

Thursday 11th of May 2023

[…] Garam masala – a warming Indian spice blend. Use shop bought, or try my Homemade Garam Masala recipe […]

Paneer Curry (+ VIDEO) - Indian Curry Recipes - Sanjana.Feasts

Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

[…] Garam masala – a warming Indian spice blend. Use shop bought, or try my Homemade Garam Masala […]

Curry Pasta Salad - Indian Salad Recipes - Sanjana.Feasts

Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

[…] blends like garam masala, achaar masala and chaat masala do exist, and have many […]

Cheesy Masala Beans on Toast - Indian Breakfast Recipes - Sanjana.Feasts

Sunday 26th of March 2023

[…] the heat and add in one teaspoon of homemade garam masala, turmeric, fresh coriander, and a 400g tin of baked beans. Stir well to combine and then simmer the […]