Go Back
Garam Masala

Garam Masala (Mughlai-Style)

This garam masala works perfectly in the tandoori foods and cream sauces of Mughlai Indian cuisine. A basic recipe for garam masala might call for only five ingredients; this complex Mughlai version is extra-fragrant with mace and nutmeg.


  • 1 Tbsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. ground green cardamom seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black cardamom seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. ground bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground mace
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg


  • Lightly toast the saffron threads in a dry medium nonstick skillet for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, and then grind using a mortar and pestle or crush between your fingertips until you obtain desired amount.
  • Place all spices in skillet and stir and shake the pan over medium heat until heated through, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container. This spice mix will keep for about 1 month at room temperature in a cool, dark place, or about 1 year in the refrigerator or freezer.


If possible, grind the spices from whole spices just before assembling the spice mixture.
To grind green and black cardamom: place cardamom between sheets of paper towels and roll rolling pin or metal dowel over them, applying heavy pressure, until the shells crack. Extract the tiny seeds inside and grind until you have the desired amount.
Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra