Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Masala Powder/Garam Masala aka The Aromatic Indian Spice Mix….

That small magic container in your mother’s kitchen cabinet……….a pinch of it spruces up that simmering bowl of spicy curried meat or a steaming pot of stewed vegetables…………..The essence that lends the authentic taste…………the aroma that awakens your senses and makes you float in the clouds of spice heaven……….a secret of many kitchens but a mystery to some!!

Here’s the delightful spice mix from my mother’s kitchen …..the aroma and taste of her kitchen that defined ‘my’ reference point for ‘authentic’ !

Grind …….
  • 1/8 cup fennel seeds/Perinjeerakam
  • 4 flat Indian cinnamon sticks of 2 ¼ inch length/Karukapatta
  • 3-4 cardamoms/Elakkaya
  • 10 cloves/Grampoo
  • 1 star anise/Thakkolam
… a fine powder in a coffee grinder or the smallest jar of the mixer/blender…..

Sometimes this spice mixture is used towards the end of cooking to make the dish more rich and elegant and sometimes it is also used in the preliminary stages of cooking, along with other powdered spices. Use it sparingly or as per the recipe instructions as a small amount of sprinkling goes a long way.

Here’s the list of recipes where I have used my mother’s Masala Powder/Garam Masala/Indian Spice Mix:

Meat Cutlets Meat Rolls in White Sauce Chemmeen eerkiliyil kuthi varuthathu Kappa Biriyani Erachi Puttu Prawns Stir Fry Mutton Curry

Store it in a small airtight container in a dry place. Do not let moisture get into the container by way of opening the jar on a simmering dish and transfer directly from it, instead use a dry teaspoon to take out the mix and add to the dish. Remember to close the lid immediately after opening as it helps to lock in the aroma as well as the strength of the essence. Similarly, it is always better to make in small quantities and store as it loses the flavour and strength when it lies around for a long time.

Well….that’s it…go and spice up your dishes with the magic wand of sprinkles :)


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  1. Thank you..thank you so so much.....i am going to make appams and the curry too...u are always welcome :-) the way i am also certain that there must be something special cooking in oyur kitchen too being weekend....i usually make non veg mon to fri i stick to veg and sometimes fish...and the bowl looks so cute...marble right?


  2. Hi--wonderful-I love making my own masalas and this will certainly help me to give the more authentic "mishmash" flavor to your recipes. Just one question though, do you dry-roast the spices before grinding?

  3. my all purpose masala (my mom's actually) is very similar and u are so right about it sprucing up pretty much any dish! i have a small jar tucked in my cupboard too :)

  4. Well,tempting aroma spreads all over..I cant wait anymore.

  5. Shn,
    Thats a beautiful write up n can relate to it ...precise feelings!
    Hey I had once watched Sanjeev Kapoor in his show stating that a cm layer of TABLE SALT at the bottom of that airtight container, helps preserve the freshness n flavour of masalas for longer..donno..never tried it!
    Tks for Masala recipe! Pics talk to me!!

  6. Happy Dusshera to you and Your Family !!!

    Garam Masala looks awesome and spicy..

  7. Hi Mishmash,
    I started reading your blog reacently and all I can say is WOW........ your writing.. your cooking... your photography... wow wow wow..... hats off to you!!!
    somewhere from your blog I noticed that you studied in STC. I'm also a proud Teresian (from KG to BCom)so who knows.. may be we know each other. I have forwarded your blog to all my friends here in so you have a whole new set of fans in Germany.
    keep up your good work!! looking forward to your next post.(Sorry for this loong comment)

  8. Nothing better than using freshly grounde spices :-)

  9. Your pictures just kick ass! Lovely.

  10. i am learning the convenience of having some gound masala handy shn! Thank you for your wishes, hope you enjoy the festivities as well.

  11. I remember my mom also making these masala powder.
    But have to admit i have not yet done it, have bookmarked them to make it.

  12. That's a nice and simple way of making garam masala..Wish you and your family Happy Dusshera

  13. beautiful pic and indian spice saves a lot of my recipes :)

  14. Nothing beats to homemade masala!

  15. Good to see this recipe making masala powder. By the way I have few recipe bookmarked frm ur blog. you have nice recipes in ur blog.

  16. Hello Shn,

    This is one lovely masala! I learnt about this combo from a friend (who hails from Kerala),, and this truly is one that adds that extra element of aroma and taste to every dish. The first picture is sooooooooo pretty!

    How have you been doing?


  17. Sweet post about your garam masala!

  18. Homemade garam masala is the best in aroma and taste:)

  19. In June when my Mom came over here..she had bought a box of home made garam taste a lot of different from the regular packaged once i used...esp with non-veg looked a bit darker in shade than this one...

  20. hi shn..thanks for that recipe..shall surely try ur mutton curry soon..eventhough i do not eat mutton i will surely make it for my hubby!!

  21. hmmm, I can smell the divine homemade masala already from you picture :)

  22. Rashmi, no..our weekends are quite lazy ones.....leftover, take out and eat out is the rule :P

    Chitra,if you want you can dry mother doesnt and hence me too :) but if you re making very small quantities, say for one dish, then it is better to dry roast as it makes the grinding easier as well as more aromatic.

    Nags,Ann...thanks girls :)

    Purnima, this tip would have been helpful those days when i used to get big batches from home....:)

    Sireesha,thanks...hope you had great festival fun too :)

    Sunita, Anudivya, Mandira,thanks a lot :)

    Happy Cook, You should try atleast once....homemade ones make a lot of difference....

    Priti,Sangeeth,Cham,Bhawana, Thank you :)

    Musical,am good ve u been? so nice to see you here....are you still too busy to blog?:P

    Divya, Yasmeen, Poornima ...thanks a lot :)

    Mathew, hmm...thats the realisation that made me start making it at home....ur mom must be having a different spice mix or different proportion of the same.

    Divz, Sujatha..thank you :)


  23. Hi, i am a frequent visitor of your blog. I have tried your masala powder recipe. i have used it in my mutton, chicken curry and other veggie curries as well. it gave nice flavor to the dish. thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  24. Is it possible to give fennel seeds measurement in tablespoon?

    Thank you!

  25. Hi, Am gonna second all the comments, ur recipes are awesome.
    For the masala powder, can u confirm the measurement of fennel seeds in tbsps please????

  26. Thank you so much..have made alomost all of your posted recipes...they are wonderful, but the best is the masala powder, it is just perfect!

  27. Thanks for sharing wonderful informative powder.
    Spices powder


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