Step 1: You will need
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 3 to 4 bay leaves
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 4 black cardamom pods
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1 or 2 cloves of freshly grated nutmeg
- 6cm to 7cm acacia bark, This has a woody, bittersweet flavour. It's easy to buy in Asian supermarkets, but if you can't get hold of acacia, use cinnamon sticks. This will give a sweeter taste
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Spatula
- 1 Fine metal grater
- 1 Small bowl
- 1 Non-stick frying pan
- 1 Teaspoon
- 1 Spice grinder
- 1 Air-tight container
Step 2: Prepare
Crush 4 black and 2 green cardamom pods with the back of a spoon or spatula until they spilt. Remove the seeds with your fingers and throw the pods away.
Grate a clove or two of fresh nutmeg, until you have about one teaspoonful.
Step 3: Toasting
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a low to medium heat. Add 1 tsp of whole cloves, 3 or 4 bay leaves, the seeds of 2 green cardamoms and the seeds of 4 black cardamoms 12 black peppercorns and break up the acacia bark into the pan.
Stir for 30 seconds, to really release the aromas within the spices.
Take the pan off the heat, and add the grated nutmeg. As the nutmeg is already ground, it will burn if added while the pan is very hot. Stir. The nutmeg will turn slightly brown.
Step 4: Grinding
Add everything to a spice grinder.If you don't have a spice grinder, you could use a pestle and mortar or a clean coffee mill, but a spice grinder will give a finer consistency. Grind the mixture to a fairly smooth powder. Check after about 30 seconds to see if the spices are fully ground. Keep going until you see a fine powder.
Step 5: Use it well
Garam masala is a fruity and warming spice, used in a wide variety of meat and vegetable dishes. It is often used at the end of cooking, sprinkled sparingly, so it doesn't overwhelm the dish. You can store freshly made Garam Masala in an airtight container, and it will keep for 3 to 6 months.