To make your own garam masala, a common Indian spice blend, combine dry ground ingredients for a quick and easy recipe, or toast whole seeds and peppers and grind them for even more flavor. Add the spice mix to dishes to add Indian flavor, but add it at the end of the recipe, as it can become bitter if overcooked.
To make a simple garam masala, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cardamom and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground black pepper. Stir in 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg until thoroughly incorporated.
To toast your own spices for a garam masala blend, remove the stems from 1 tablespoon of dried miniature rosebuds, and heat them in a skillet over medium-high heat with a broken-up 1-inch piece of cinnamon. Add 2 bay leaves, 1/4 cup of cumin seeds, 1/3 cup of coriander seeds and 1 tablespoon of green cardamom pods. Mix in 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of whole cloves and 1 dried red chile.
Continuously stir the ingredients until the cumin turns brown, which takes approximately 2.5 to three minutes. Pour the toasted ingredients into a coffee or spice grinder, and add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of ground mace. Process the ingredients into a fine powder.