Garam Masala is a blend of spices individually toasted to release and enhance both flavor and fragrance. There are many varieties of Garam Masala – sweeter, hotter, and so on. You can change the amounts of ingredients to suit your own taste.
Below is "No. 1 Garam Masala" from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook.
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 T coriander seeds
2 T cumin seeds
1 T whole black peppercorns
2 tsp cardamom seeds (measure after removing pods) (I used about 3-4 tsps of the pods, and that gave me the 2 tsp of seeds after toasting)
4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
(Top row: coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds. Middle row: black peppercorns, whole nutmeg, whole cloves. Bottom: cardamom pods.)
In a small pan roast separately the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
As each one starts to smell fragrant, turn on to plate to cool.
After roasting, peel the cardamoms, discard pods and use only seeds.
Put all into electric blender and blend to a fine powder.
Finely grate nutmeg
and mix in.
Store in glass jar with airtight lid.