Punjabi Garam Masala is a flavor packed Indian spice powder that is made by dry roasting and then grinding few of the whole Indian spices. If you are like me who cooks Punjabi food most days, this spice blend is a must in your pantry or even otherwise. You just need little of this masala to make the most simplest day to day curries taste exotic or restaurant like.
Garam means "hot" and Masala means "spice mixture" so together it means "Hot Spice Mix ". Punjabi because the spices used for this are more popularly used in North Indian Cooking. Usually this spice mix is used alone or with other seasonings in Indian cooking. You really need a little of this as its known to raise the body temperatures due to Hot/Garam properties.
Few of my recipes where I love using this Garam Masala - Mutter Paneer, Veg Kofta Curry, Palak Paneer, Mushroom Mutter, Rajma Masala, Methi Mutter Malai.
Traditionally for making this spice blend - spices were kept covered under a thin cloth and allowed to dry naturally under the sun for 2-3 days or even a week. Then these were powdered using a pestle and mortar. But with changing times, the modern approach is the quicker way of roasting these spices on gas/flame and then using a spice/coffee grinder/blender to make the powder.
With so many varieties available in stores, making homemade masala may look onerous but believe me its not. You can make a whole lot quantity which will go on for months if kept air tight. And bet once you make this, you wont go back to buying the store bought versions.
Now to the recipe...
1/2 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds
30-32 green cardamoms
6-7 Bay leaves
10-12 black cardamoms
6-8 blades of mace
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
In a heavy bottom pan dry roast the spices on medium heat until warm and fragrant. Do not roast the black cardamom as it makes it bitter. I just add them on the top after switching the gas off. Allow to cool completely and then grind them into fine powder using a spice/coffee grinder/blender. Sift the powdered spices and you may get a residue which you can grind again and sift. Or use this residue for your sabzis/dals. Store it in airtight container and use as required.
- Use good quality spices as they are the main ingredients for this recipe.
- You can roast all spices together like I did or individually. Just make sure not to over roast them which might make them bitter and the color dark.
- The powder color may vary based on quality of spices and the roasting time.
- Roasting is optional but recommended as it makes the powder fragrant and also grinding easier.
That's it, our flavorful Punjabi Garam Masala is ready. Use it in your recipes to bring that exotic/restaurant like touch. Enjoy!!