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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5: grind these spices to a fine powder. remove in a bowl.
6: now add the rest of the spices to the dry grinder.
7: grind these too to a fine 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.
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.
Punjabi Garam Masala
- 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.