Quick and easy homemade garam masala recipe so you will impress your diners with a far more delicious spice mixture that’s prepared faster than going shopping. Delicious in the Indian prawn dish presented below.
Serves 4 in 30 minutes, originally posted by The Skinny Cook, 16th February 2006 (Curry / Prawn / Asian (India) / Main Dish / Stove / No marination).
What is garam masala? Masala is a mixture, in this case a mixture of spices. Garam means to fry, so garam masala is a warm spice mix to adds flavour to "curries" (a thin spicy gravy) and "masala" (a thicker spicy gravy), see the prawn recipe below.
Masala can be a mixture of ground or whole spices and every cook has his own secret recipe. You can get garam masala from the supermarket, but if you want to make your own, here’s a basic mix.
Homemade garam masala ingredients
- 8 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 inch (5cm) piece cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cloves
How to make garam masala
- Dry-fry (without using any oil) all the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Allow to cool, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods. Tear the bay leaves into pieces. Put them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle with the remaining spices and grind or pound into a fine powder.
- Store the garam masala in an airtight container and use sparingly, e.g. in the prawn recipe below.
Prawn masala recipe
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 pieces cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 oz (50g) onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped green chili
- 3/4 oz (20g) tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 pound (500g) prawns, shelled, with tails left intact
- 4 tablespoons water (optional)
- handful coriander leaves, chopped roughly
- 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
- 1 /2 tsp garam masala
How to make a quick prawn curry/masala recipe
- Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add cardamom, cloves and the cinnamon stick. Stir-fry for 10 to 20 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add chopped onion. Mix well for another 20 seconds until the onions turn light brown. Then add 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and the garlic. Mix well for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Add the green chili, remaining 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, tomato paste and tomato juice. Mix well and stir continuously for about 5 minutes so that the mixture doesn’t burn.
- Add the chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and coriander powder. Continue to stir-fry over a medium fire until the oil separates from the mixture. This takes 1 to 2 minutes.
- Once the oil separates, add the fresh prawns and mix well. If the mixture looks dry, add water and continue cooking for at most another 5 minutes.
- When the prawns are cooked, add coriander leaves and black peppercorns. Mix well and add garam masala. Serve hot with Indian parata bread or yellow rice.