Punjabi Garam Masala


Punjabi garam masala is the staple spice blend for almost all Punjabi recipes, and yes it is different than generic garam masala.

Sabjis, daals, or curries, one thing reigns true, and that’s garam masala. Garam masala is rich in flavor and fragrance. There’s no hard and fast recipe when it comes to this spice blend. So it comes as no shock that it varies greatly based on where in India you are. “My blend” is a lot more specific to the Punjabi flavor profiles and dishes – hence it’s not just garam masala – it’s Punjabi garam masala.

It’s nearly difficult to even do a write up on garam masala because of what a standard mix it is. It would be like trying to explain season salt as an American. Which, I know, is not what you want to read. So many people want to hear that when you smell garam masala you’re instantly transported into a horrible culturally appropriated movie – with ridiculously gold lighting, horrible accents, and cheesy lines. Where granny is telling you that the garam masala spice blend is a way to speak to your ancestors. Which is just ridiculous! Granny would never call it that! Masala means spice mix – so why would she call it “hot spice mix spice” – she isn’t crazy. Then again she wouldn’t call it tea tea either – just call it chai or tea! Pick a lane and stick to it.

That said, I never purchase pre-ground spices if I can help it. It’s always best (and easy enough) to grind spices at the time of use. Partly, to ensure that none of the spices have already oxidized and changed flavor. Part of what makes garam masala so amazing is the rich and bold notes in it. You have the heavy scents and flavors of cumin and cardamom perfectly mixed with the earthiness of cinnamon and coriander seeds. All in all its a flavor and aroma explosion that helps to provide a richness to any gravy you’re making.

Wondering which recipes use garam masla? Try these:

Punjabi Garam Masala

Course: IngredientsCuisine: PunjabiDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time


Cook Mode

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  • 5 pieces of cinnamon bark, broken into pieces

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 1/3 cup cumin seeds

  • 1/3 cup coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp green cardamom pods

  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns

  • 1 tbsp whole cloves

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 3 black cardamom pod

  • 2 dried red chili

  • 2 star anise

Equipment/Specialty Items


  • Place all ingredients into a spice mill or coffee grinder and blend.
  • Store in an airtight container. Spice blend stays fresh for up to 2 months.

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Nutrition Facts

15 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 3.6g 5%
    • Saturated Fat 0.4g 0%
  • Sodium 13mg 1%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 544mg 16%
  • Total Carbohydrate 31.6g 11%
    • Dietary Fiber 12.99g 48%
    • Sugars 0.1g
  • Protein 5.3g 10%
  • Calcium 13%
  • Iron 43%
  • Vitamin D 1%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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