Randy's Vegetarian Cookbook

Garam Masala (Indian Spice Mixture)

2 Tblsp coriander seeds
1  bay leaf
2 Tblsp cumin seeds
1/2 Tblsp cardamon seeds
1/2 Tblsp whole cloves
1  cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tblsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Makes enough for about 1 spice jar.

Place all ingredients in a spice grinder, blender, or food processor. Grind to a fine powder. Put in a spice jar and close tightly.

(Note -- many recipes for garam masala include instructions to toast the spices before grinding. I believe that this merely drives out and wastes the valuable volatile flavor compounds. If you want to do it, open all of the windows in the kitchen and turn on fans. You may also want to wear a mask or put cloth over your nose and mouth. Heat a dry, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the spices and stir, toasting until they turn a little darker and emit a smoky aroma. This aroma, however, is very pungent, and you will be sorry if you breathe it in without your nose and mouth covered. Cool, then continue grinding as above.)
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