Make your own spice combinations

There was a time when virtually everything that went into our mouths was made by me. I baked all my own bread, brewed my own beer, made my own jams and jellies, and so on. I’ve gotten lazier over time but there are still a few things I prefer to make myself and one of them is spice combinations. I thought I might share a few of them with you.

Garam Masala

Makes about 3 Tbsp.

1 Tbsp. cardamom seeds
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp. black cumin seeds (or regular cumin seeds)
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 average-sized nutmeg

Grind all the ingredients in a clean electric coffee-grinder (or any spice-grinder) until the spices are finely ground.

There are probably as many garam masala recipes as there are Indian cooks. Here’s another one.

Garam Masala 2

Makes about 3 Tbsp.

1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. cardamom seeds
1 Tbsp. corianer seeds
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
½ tsp. ground mace
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Grind the whole shebang in a clean electric coffee-grinder until it’s finely ground.

Another one. This one calls for roasting the whole spices for 10 minutes at 275°.

Garam Masala 3

2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
2 inches cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 small bay leaf
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
pinch of ground nutmeg
½ tsp. red pepper flakes

Grind it all up in a clean electric coffee-grinder.

Here’s what I use for chili powder.

Chili Powder

Makes 4 Tbsp.

2 Tbsp. ground chilis (or good quality Hungarian paprika)
1 Tbsp. ground oregano
1 Tbsp. ground cumin

Mix it well. How hot this is depends on how hot your chilis are. If you want it hotter substitute a little cayenne pepper for the ground chilis.

If you’ve got any favorite spice combinations of your own, leave them in the comments. I’m always looking for good ones!

I’ve added this recipe to my master list of recipes.

5 comments… add one
  • Well, trackback isn’t working, so here’s the link for the carnival:

  • With curry a standard meal in Japan, I’m happy to see these recipes with which you’ve added above-and-beyond-the-call-of-bloggery spice to your posts.

  • Srini Link

    Hey guys, I wanted to know know if by any chance there is any book or stuff in the market where I can know which spices blend with which other spices. I know there must be a combination which enhance flavors. And also some spices never mix with each other and it could be bad for the tummy. If there is some book of this sort, I would like to get hold of it. Or if there is a website also it would be great. Thank you very much.

  • Thanks for the chili powder recipe! I will probably add granulated garlic to it, just to give it more flavor range.

    I also agree that it’s both wonderful and difficult to make most things from scratch. I rarely to out to eat anymore, as we can make just about anything at home better and less expensive than going out.

  • joyce perkins Link

    thanks for the recipes above…how about chinese five spice- very hard to find.

Leave a Comment