A masala is a blend of spices. Indian families have their preferred mix on hand to save time when making curries.
4 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsp cardamom seeds
4 small cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
½ a freshly grated nutmeg
Usually made from whole spices which are toasted and ground, ground spices can be used but they should also be toasted. Do this over a very gentle heat to ensure they don’t burn. Garam masala can be added to hot oil at the beginning of cooking, or added towards the end, or used as a sprinkle.
1 Toast spices individually in a small dry frying pan (skillet), transferring them to a plate to cool as they are done.
2 Whizz to a powder in a blender, then mix in freshly grated nutmeg. Store garam masala airtight in a glass jar out of the light.