Garam masala

Garam masala.
Garam masala. Photo: Marina Oliphant

The roasted spices will perfume the house while you're making this, from the woody and rich notes of cinnamon and mace to the distinctive citrus floral top notes of green cardamom, making it impossible to put it in the pantry without giving it a trial run.


4 fresh bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

25g coriander seeds

25g cumin seeds

25g green cardamom pods

5g (1 tbsp) fennel seeds

10g (4 tsp) black peppercorns

10g (2 tbsp) cloves

2 star anise

4 blades mace (the whole flakes)

2 tbsp dried rose petals (optional, just if you have some to hand)


1. Add all the ingredients to a frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about four minutes while shaking the pan. Toast the spices so they become fragrant, but don't let them burn.

2. Let the spices cool and then grind in a coffee or spice grinder until a fine powder. Store in an airtight container or jar.