Punjabi Garam Masala

This recipe is from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer.

Makes about 1/4 cup
Hands-on preparation time: 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tbs. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds, removed from black pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, each 3 inches long and broken into smaller pieces
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves

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, one to two minutes.

Immediately transfer the nutty-smelling spices to a plate to cool. 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. The ground blend will be reddish brown and the aroma will be sweet and complex.

Store in a tightly sealed container, away from excess light, heat, and humidity, for up to two months.

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