Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices that varies from recipe to recipe. There are, therefore, no key ingredients, although certain spices are commonly used when it is made. Which ingredients to use often comes down to personal taste or the type of dish that the garam masala is being used with.
Common garam masala ingredients include cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, cassia, mace, bay leaf and caraway.
To make garam masala, first toast a mixture of the above spices, or any other spices preferred. This can be done in a skillet over a medium heat and takes about 3 minutes. The mixture should then be ground together until it becomes a powder.