Spicing up the Kitchen

With the tandoori chicken ready, the next step in my quest to conquer Indian cooking is the garam masala.  This roasted spice mix is in a lot of the recipes I have been looking to try.  Everything I read says it is worth making it instead of buying it.  I always welcome a trip to Penzey’s, especially to find some spices I am unfamiliar with.

As best as I can tell, there is no ONE recipe to follow.  Both cookbooks have drastically different recipes which lead me to the interwebs.  They are all over the place, not two recipes are the same.  Seems there is no wrong way to make it so I did a hybrid from the two cookbooks based on the ingredients on I had on hand.

The spices…

 Toast ’em up.

 Cool for grinding.

Give ’em a whirl.


Garam Masala

Recipe Type: Seasoning
Author: Jacky Hackett
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 4 t. whole black cardamom pods
  • 4 t. whole cloves
  • 4 t. mace blades
  • 4 t. peppercorns
  • 4 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 t. freshly ground nutmeg


This is my first encounter with cardamom in its whole form.  Mace Blades I have never even heard of before this recipe.  It is the membrane that surrounds nutmeg.  The fennel seeds had an amazing scent, and even better when toasted.

Next step, the main event, Velvet Butter Chicken.