punjabi garam masala

punjabi garam masala with step by step photos. this is an important indian spice blend that is a must in every punjabi home. the humble dal or sabzi are taken to another level when you add a bit of this aromatic spice blend in these dishes.

garam masala, punjabi garam masala powder

this aromatic and strong spice blend added in most punjabi recipes like chana masala, paneer butter masala, kadai paneer, palak paneer, kadhi pakora, malai kofta, dum aloo and so on.

i make one more version of garam masala which is really good and can be also added to punjabi, awadhi and many north indian dishes. it is like an all-purpose masala.

in english the word “garam” means warm or warming 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 punjabi garam masala make the body warm. these spices also have medicinal as well as digestive properties.

a picture below of the spices used for making this spice blend.

spices for punjabi garam masala

this punjabi garam masala is my mom in law’s recipe and a heirloom one. every punjabi home have their own versions of making this spice blend.

when we make this masala, we don’t roast the spices. we just sun dry them and then powder the spices. roasting the spices, will make your the spice blend 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.

garam masala punjabi

i added a dash of this spice mix to the palak pakoda and the masala rice i had made a few days ago and wow – what pakoras and masala rice were they. that is the power of a homemade spice blend.

don’t ever ever buy readymade spice blends. they are horrible and adulterated too. more about adulteration on my coriander powder post.

whatever masala or spice blend you use in your food, make them at home. i make many spice blends at home, be it bisi bele bath masala, amchoor powder, sambar powder, rasam powder or even chai masala powder.

i usually add ¼ to ½  teaspoon of this punjabi garam masala in the dals, sabzis or curries i make for a serving of 4 to 5.

the homemade spice blend is so strong that you should not add too much of it 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.

tips before you begin

  • first take all the spices. then check if they have stones, chaffs or husks.
  • make sure there is no hidden mold or fungi or insects growing on them. if yes, then discard these spices.
  • use fresh spices and not old ones.
  • sun dry or roast the spices in a pan or oven.
  • while using cinnamon, use the true cinnamon (ceylon cinnamon) and not cassia. to know how to find the difference check more on google search.

how to make punjabi garam masala

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 to 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. if you have a powerful grinder, then just add all the spices and grind to a fine powder.

recipe of garam masala

9: store the masala in an air-tight container in a cool dry place. keeps well for a year. you can add this spice blend to your everyday curries, lentils, veggies and rice dishes.

this punjabi garam masala is added in many popular punjabi recipes like samosa, paneer lababdar, bhindi masala, rajma recipe, lauki kofta, paneer tikka masala etc.

how to make punjabi garam masala

Punjabi Garam Masala

4.84 from 18 votes
aromatic and flavorful punjabi garam masala is an indian spice blend added to dals, curries and in punjabi dishes. 
punjabi garam masala powder recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:3 d
Total Time:3 d
Servings (change the number to scale):1 medium size bottle
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • ½ cup whole coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup whole cumin seeds
  • 9 pieces cinnamon sticks , each having an approx size of about 2.5 to 3 inches
  • 2 tablespoons cloves
  • 10 tejpatta leaves
  • 10 black cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoons small cardamoms
  • 1.5 tablespoons whole black pepper
  • 1 piece whole dry ginger of 1 inch
  • 1 nutmeg


  • pick the coriander and cumin seeds of stones.
  • spread the whole spices on a plate or thali.
  • keep in the sun for 2 to 3 days.
  • grind the dry ginger first.
  • then add the broken cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
  • grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • now add the rest of the spices and grind to fine powder.
  • mix both the spice powder batches well.
  • store punjabi garam masala in an air-tight container or jar.
  • you can also refrigerate this spice blend.
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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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106 comments/reviews

  1. Awesome receipe came out really good. Unable to find chat masala receipe …. Could u please post it..thanks..

  2. hello ma’am and sir once again.
    Congratulations on launching your app. It’s always great to learn from your recipes.
    I have a request to you.
    Could you please introduce a section where different ingredients like mace, anise cumin etc are explained with usage according to taste and dish. Especially of different type of spices that where it can be used and where avoided.
    It would be a great help.

  3. Hi – What a wonderful Garam Masala, could you explain what makes it particularly Punjabi?

    • its the addition of black cardamoms, nutmeg and particularly ginger powder that makes this punjabi garam masala recipe different from the regular garam masala powder.

  4. Hi , I love your recipes. This one too is very good. I made the masala and it has turned out really good. I added an extra bit of coriander seeds since it felt it was too strong. Thanks for the recipe.
    Can we add saunf? Or khus khus?

  5. 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.

  6. 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 sharing4 stars

  7. 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.5 stars

  8. Dassana,

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


  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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.

  12. 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! 😀

  13. 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.


    • 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.

  14. 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!5 stars

  15. 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

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

  17. hi,
    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
    tricia5 stars

    • thanks. i don not know the exact weight nor the equivalent in powdered form. but i give an approximate measure of cinnamon powder – about 2.5 to 3 tbsp.

  18. 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???


  19. 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! 🙂

  20. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  21. 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.

    • 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.

    • Hi,

      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 lot5 stars

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

          Thank you.

        • 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.

        • dry substances or mixtures cannot be weighed or measured in ml. for that i will have to weigh them and write in grams. i have used american cups here.

        • 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..5 stars