Mom’s Garam Masala – A Family Recipe

Mom’s Garam Masala – I cannot believe that I am finally writing an actual post about this amazingly aromatic, out-of-the-world garam masala recipe!! This is a family recipe that is being used for generations and this is my attempt to preserve some of the family traditions as a legacy.

As mentioned in my simple garam masala recipe, every family has their own version of garam masala and I couldn’t be happier to finally share the one from my family! In many maharashtrian families this kind of masala is also referred to as ‘Goda masala’. My mom uses this garam masala to make the authentic and delicious recipes like chicken curry, stuffed eggplant or black eyed peas curry!

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Chana masala

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Chana masala (spiced chickpeas) is a staple in my kitchen and definitely my go-to dish when entertaining. This intensely spiced, tangy, aromatic dish makes for a healthy, protein packed dinner.

This dish can quickly be made if you have the spices roasted and blended in advance (or you can use ready made chana masala spice which is readily available). I recently made a batch of this spice blend to speedup my weeknight cooking. After researching quiet a few recipes and several trials, I now have the perfect recipe that I am thrilled to share with you! This blend uses Kashmiri red chilies that give the dish a deep orange color and just the right amount of heat and dried mango powder to enhance the tangy tomato flavor. The spice blend uses few basic spices and can be made ahead in a big batch or can also be made while you are sauteing onions for this chana masala recipe. Here is the recipe using my chana masala spice blend that can be made in a jiffy.

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Chana Masala Spice blend

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I have been working to perfect the spice blend for my restaurant style chana masala for almost a month. There is no wrong way to make this spice blend as long as you have some basic key ingredients. The only tricky part was figuring out the proportions so that the dish is a perfect blend of spicy and tangy flavors, without over complicating the recipe by using too many ingredients. I am so excited that I finally have my recipe nailed and happy to share it with you. Here is how I make my favorite homemade chana masala spice blend.

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Homemade 5-Ingredient Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a staple spice blend in every Indian home. It is the aromatic spice blend that brings warmth and depth to Indian cuisine.

Every region, every family has their own secret recipe for garam masala that is combination of spices. My mom’s quintessential garam masala uses 19 spices! I still remember her yearly ritual of making the garam masala, which involved shopping for the best whole spices, cleaning and roasting them, grinding them and then carefully storing them in beautiful glass jars. It would be shared with relatives and used for rest of the year. Lucky for me, my mom still makes the blend every year and has a jar ready for me to bring back each time we visit her in India.

Over the past several years, during her visits to the US she taught me how to create a simplified version in smaller batches. This version uses 5 ingredients that are readily available – peppercorns, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black cumin or caraway seeds. Just 1 tsp of this garam masala can add authentic flavors to many Indian dishes. Flavors of this homemade version has NO comparison to any store bought spice blend.

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