A do-it-yourself recipe for garam masala

Making your own spice mix is a rewarding experience that adds a whole new level of satisfaction and secrecy to any recipe you conjure up in your kitchen. For authentic Indian cooking and dishes with heaps of personality and flavour, this homemade garam masala will see you right.



Makes: about ½ a cup | Prep: 10 mins | Cooking time: 5 mins

2 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon quills
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
2 Tbsp cardamom seeds, pods discarded
1 star anise



1. Heat a pan over a low heat. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon quills, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, whole cloves and cardamom seeds.
2. Allow the mixture to toast for about 5–8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The aroma of spices should be wafting in your kitchen by now.
3. Place all the toasted spices and star anise in a blender and blend to a fine powder. You can also grind them to just the perfect consistency using a pestle and mortar.

Store in a glass jar, labeled, so that you can find it next time. This spice mix will keep for up to 2 months.