This spice blend is probably the one you will use the most in the recipes. Garam masala is quite different from curry powder. It has a stronger and more complex flavor and no turmeric. If you prefer not to make your own, you can find ground or whole garam masala in Indian stores, world spice stores, or online. The whole spices blend is best for storage because whole spices stay fresh longer than ground ones. I store the whole-spice blend and grind up a 1/4 cup or so and use that until it runs out (not longer than 3 months). The taste of the ground spice blend is much stronger and fresher this way. Every household has their own recipe for garam masala, and this is the one that I use. Feel free to adjust the spices in the recipe to preference, using fewer black peppercorns for less heat. For variation, use less black cardamom or fewer bay leaves. Indian bay leaves are slightly different than regular bay leaves, so make sure to get the Indian bay leaves. Makes 1.5 cups
Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
To grind: In a spice grinder, grind the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg first until well ground, then add the rest of the spices and grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Note: You can also roast the spices before blending. Dry roast all the ingredients except the nutmeg over low-medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Grind the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg, and then add the rest of the spices, grind and store as above.
Quick Garam Masala: Mix the following and store.2 tbsp ground coriander 1 tbsp ground cumin 2 tsp black pepper 3/4 tsp ground cloves 3/4 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 1/4 tsp nutmegAdjust the amounts to flavor preference if needed.Nutritional values based on one serving