Indian Spice Mixtures

To grind spices I use a coffee grinder labeled as for spice grinding only.

There's no such thing as "curry powder"
Curry is a mixture of spices (no grinding necessary)

The main ones are:

You can have equal amounts of all of the (Dal often might have 1/2 tsp of each)
or one Curry recipe I have calls for 1.5:1 of coriander  and turmeric to chili and cumin

Make your own Coriander or Cumin Powder
It's easy and things stay fresher. Just by the Coriander or Cumin seeds and grind them as you need powder.
What you need is a coffee grinder that is used only for spices. Never grind coffee in it as the taste will never be the same.

Shahi Masala
  • seeds from 12 black cardamom pods
  • seeds from10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp fenugeek seeds
  • pinch ajowan
  • pinch asafetida
Process till fine.  Store in a tight fitting jar.  Makes 6 Tablespoons.

Garam Masala
(from Julie Sahni's: Classic Indian Cooking)
Break open the cardamon pods and remove the seeds (discard the skin).
Crush cinnamon with a mallet or rolling pin to break it into small pieces.
Combine the spices.
Optionally you can roast them.
Grind them in a spice grinder.

To roast. Heat a small heavy frying pan for 2 minutes over medium heat.
Add the spices and roast over medium heat stirring and shaking the pan constantly in order to prevent burning.
For the first minute or two nothing will happen--the spices are losing their moisture.  Suddenly, they will start to brown.
Stir constantly or they will burn.  they will being to smoke, releasing the sweet fragrance of roasting spices.  Roast until they are dark brown,
Turn down the heat if they are browning too quickly.  Process should take about 10 minutes.
Put into a spice (or coffee) grinder and grind until it is a fine powder.

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