garam masala recipe, how to make punjabi garam masala powder at home

punjabi garam masala: punjabi garam masala recipe

garam masala powder recipe with step by step photos – an important indian spice blend that is a must in every indian kitchen. the humble dal or sabzi are taken to another level when you add a little of garam masala in these.

garam masala is a very important spice blend added in most punjabi recipes like chole, paneer butter masala, kadai paneer, palak paneerrajmamah ki dalkadhi pakorapindi chana, malai kofta and so on.

in english garam means warm and masala means a blend of spices…. so the words garam masala translates to a warm spice blend . the coining of these two words is true as the spices that are used in making the garam masala make the body warm. they also have medicinal as well as digestive properties.

punjabi garam masala

a few weeks back i received a request from a dear reader for punjabi garam masala. even before the request came i was thinking of making the garam masala and post about it too. the garam masala which my mother had made and given to me is on the verge of getting over.

so i had no option but to make a fresh batch of garam masala. this punjabi garam masala  is my mom in law’s recipe. every punjabi home have their own garam masala recipe.

when we make the garam masala, we don’t roast the spices. we just sun dry them and then powder the spices. roasting the spices, will make your garam masala more aromatic than this one. if you want you can lightly dry roast the spices instead of sun drying them. but don’t roast the dry ginger and black cardamoms.

punjabi garam masala

i added a dash of garam masala to the palak pakoras and the masala rice i had made a few days ago and wow… what pakoras and masala rice were they. thats the power of a homemade garam masala or for that matter any homemade masala or spice blend mix. don’t ever ever buy readymade garam masala. they are horrible and adulterated too. more about adulteration on my coriander powder post here.

whatever masala or powder you use in your food, make them at home. be it bisi bele bath masala, amchur powder, sambar powder, rasam powder or even chai masala powder. i usually add 1/4  teaspoon garam masala in the dals, sabzis or curries i make for a servings of 2-3. the homemade garam masala powder is so strong that you should not add too much of garam masala in your dishes. it will spoil the taste of the whole food. just a little does the job and balances the aroma, taste and flavors in the food very well.

garam masala punjabi

a pic below of the spices used for making the punjabi garam masala.

spices for punjabi garam masala

lets start step by step punjabi garam masala powder recipe:

1: pick the cumin/jeera and coriander/dhania for are any stones. spread the spices in a thali/parat or a plate.

spices in garam masala

2: keep the plate with the whole spices in sunlight for 2-3 days. turn over the spices sometimes when they are getting the sun light.

punjabi garam masala spices in sun

3: in a very good dry grinder or coffee grinder, first grind the dry ginger. dry ginger/saunth is the toughest to grind. so i always grind it first. you can also use ginger powder instead of dry whole ginger. you can still see a small bit of dry ginger still left after grinding.

grinding the garam masala spices

4: the next difficult one to grind is the nutmeg/jaiphal. now in the same jar add the cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg. the cinnamon sticks/dalchini should be broken and added to the dry grinder. you can grate the nutmeg/jaiphal and also add. your choose what suits you the best.

nutmeg in garam masala

5: grind these spices to a fine powder. remove in a bowl.

garam masala

6: now add the rest of the spices to the dry grinder.

grinding all spices for garam masala

7: grind these too to a fine powder.

garam masala powder

8: add it to the bowl where the previously powdered dry ginger/saunth, nutmeg/jaiphal, indian bay leaves/tejpatta and cinnamon/dalchini were kept. mix very well. you have a powerful grinder, then just add all the spices and grind to a fine powder.

recipe of garam masala

9: store garam masala powder in an air-tight container. keeps well for a year. you can add the garam masala to your everyday cooking like making veg sabzi or curries and dals.

how to make punjabi garam masala

more how to recipes:
1. how to make butter
2. how to make paneer
3. how to make curd or dahi
4. how to make amchur powder
4. how to make moong or mung sprouts at home
5. how to make coriander powder – dhania powder
6. how to make maharashtrian goda masala powder

punjabi garam masala powder recipe below:

4.7 from 7 reviews
punjabi garam masala powder recipe
punjabi garam masala powder – an important indian spice blend added to dals and curries.
CUISINE: punjabi, indian
SERVES: 1 medium size bottle
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • whole coriander seeds/sabut dhania - ½ cup
  • whole cumin seeds/sabut jeera - ¼ cup
  • cinnamon sticks/dalchini - 3 inch 9-10 pieces
  • cloves/laung - 2 tbsp
  • indian bay leaves/tejpatta - 10
  • big cardamoms/badi elaichi - 10/12
  • small cardamoms/choti elaichi - 2 tbsp
  • whole black pepper/sabut kalimirch - 1.5 tbsp
  • whole dry ginger/sonth - 1 inch peice
  • nutmeg/jaiphal - 1
  1. pick the coriander and cumin seeds of stones.
  2. spread the whole spices on a plate or thali.
  3. keep in the sun for 2-3 days.
  4. grind the dry ginger first.
  5. then add the broken cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
  6. grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
  7. now add the rest of the spices and grind to fine powder.
  8. mix both the spice powder batches well.
  9. store garam masala powder in an air-tight container or jar.
  10. you can also refrigerate garam masala powder.

{ 65 Responses }

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Jamíla says

    Thanks SO MUCH for giving both the english and local-indian/punjabi? names for the spices!

    There are plenty asian &indian stores in my area…that sometimes have a non-english name displayed only or most prominently (which is cool to me as a language-lover but can be troublesome). Having the non-english name can allow for me/others to look around on our own vs. asking someone about every little thing.

  2. kat says

    This sounds so pretty easy and i can’t wait to try it. Can i substitute the whole nutmeg to powder if i can’t find one? Thank you so much for sharing

  3. Luc says

    Thank you for the recipe. It kind of reminds me of the Egyptian Baharat. Not exactly the same of course, but my friends didn’t notice 😉
    And I actually use this exact spice blend for Arabic cuisine.

  4. Marina says


    Where do you buy your Indian spices from? Is there an online store with the brands you buy?


  5. Vani says

    i cannot get black cardamom in my place. Dry ginger is the usual one dried in sun right? Pls help me .I am dying to prepare ur garam masala.

  6. mehdi says

    salam, i dont writing to English good, excuse me.
    dear, i want a complete list of Indian spices & whole Ingredients & INSTRUCTIONS. please help me. or help me to search in best of Indian sites. your site is very gooooood. thnks.
    Mehdi Rezaei manesh , south of Iran.

  7. desiree says

    hi, i only have every thing already ground i was wondering what the recipe is if everything is already ground is it about the same. cause i know when you grind you lose some volume so the seeds a half cup equals what.

    • says

      desiree, i would suggest not to mix the ground spices which you have. it will not give the real flavor. it is better to roast or sun dry the spices and then grind them. that is how traditionally garam masala is made. i hope it helps.

  8. Joy says

    Hey, by “big cardamoms”, you mean the black, smoky tasting ones I guess. Am I right?
    I had no idea they went in garam masala! Love your recipes, I am going to make 2 of them today! 😀

  9. keerthi says

    Hi Dassana,

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe I want to try this over the weekend. Could you advise if I can skip dry ginger? Would it affect the taste drastically? As I live in Canada its tough to find it here. Considering the sun is also very less wonder how I can make dry ginger at home.


    • says

      dry ginger is one spice which is essential in punjabi garam masala. does make a difference. see if you can get ginger powder, about 2/3rd tbsp should be fine. or you can place the ginger in oven at its lowest temperature. and oven dry for some hours or a day. this method is used for drying vegetables or fruits, when sunlight is not adequate. since you will be using just 1 ginger, the drying will be quick. a temperature of 50 to 80 degrees celsius works well for oven drying.

  10. says

    Hello Dassana,

    I used these proportions & made Garam Masala at home as a recreation ‘project’. The atmosphere was filled with the most beautiful aroma & I still can’t find the words to express how amazing the sabjis have turned out to be just by adding half tbsp of this masala. THANKS A TON!

  11. Surinder Kumar says

    In fact very recently i have developed an idea of cooking at home myself, though i am totally raw in this field. This coming weekend i will try the biryani recipe myself for the first time, will definitely share my experience.
    Thanks a ton

  12. samina says

    Wonderfullll,,,,, i mean i enjoy while checking out your recepies,,,,,,,, very simple steps as wel easy to make dishes
    thanks to u

  13. tricia says

    look your blog and your photos……. do you know what the equivalent to the cinnamon sticks would be in weight or powdered cinnamon…… it’s just that cinnamon sticks vary so much in size the difference can be noticeable

  14. Medha says

    HI dassana!

    superb write up….. i have dry ginger powder at home….so much powder shud i add in place of the whole dry ginger???


  15. says

    Love using garam masala. I usually buy mine in stores, but have been wanting to make my own blend. Thank you so much for this excellent post on making it at home. I cannot wait to try this! :)

  16. Aloka says

    I think you can add Mace( Javitri) and star anise and white pepper and Shah Jeera as well.
    That is what Chef Kharag Singh did in Ashoka Hotel Delhi along with what you have already added.
    I hope you dont mind my suggestion.

    • says

      i don’t mind your suggestion aloka. in fact once i had improvised this garam masala by adding some of the above ingredients you have mentioned along with with fennel seeds/saunf. since this was my mom-in-law’s recipe i did not make any changes or improvised or personalised it further. i wanted this punjabi garam masala to be authentically her recipe as it was a reader request, plus i am sharing the recipe with so many readers.

    • ras says

      I love star anise, if I were to add it, do I grind the whole star or break it apart? Thank you, I was going to buy a huge bag of garam masala but making it from scratch sounds much better!

  17. Dr.Asiya Qazi. says

    I am very new to this website. I received many post by yours. The best part of your post is its pictures, as well as step by step method. I always read your post very carefully. You are doing an appreciatively job. Sometimes it happens that our little job can make a way for so many people at a time. Just like your post helps so many people how to make different type of vegetarian dishes. I like to read your post, & it will not wrong to say that I wait for your post. The method of your writing is like a garnishing of a dish. I want to share something about food & health. So, please send me your e-mail id. Thank you Dassana.

    • says

      thanks dr asiya. felt nice after reading your comments.

      you can write to me and share your recipes at vegrecipesofindia(at)gmail(dot).com

      i am working on a system where recipes and photos can be uploaded directly by readers. till i finish doing this, you can email me the recipes.

    • Deepali says


      Thanks for your wonderful recipes which you have posted, the best thing is photos which gives us a clear idea and helps us .
      If i have any doubt on any recipes and just read your recipes.
      I love cooking…….
      Thanks a lot

        • Anup Chakravarty says

          Please clarify measurement of cup in ml (milliliter) to avoid confusion as measurement of cup varies from country to country.

          Thank you.

          • Anup Chakravarty says

            Can we also dry roast the spices in a pan on medium flame instead of sun drying it to avoid any raw flavor in the spices.

            Thank you.

            • Anup Chakravarty says

              Yes I know, dry substances cannot be measured in ml. But it was not for the dry substances but for the capacity of the cup (Generally rated in unit used to measure liquid) in which the dry substances are to be measured in volume and not in weight.

              But anyway, you have satisfied my query and for that I’ m very thankful to you
              I’ m also thankful for the pain you have taken to upload this recipe..