Masala Spice Blends Made at Home

"No store-bought blend can replicate the passion and personal touch that goes into a homemade masala."
Ground garam masala spice texture, used in various cuisines.

Meat Masala Spice Mix

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Meat masala is a robust and earthy spice blend tailored to elevate the flavors of meat dishes. It often incorporates spices that can stand up to the strong flavors and longer cooking times associated with meats. The blend varies between regions, and sometimes even families, but its chief role remains the same: to infuse meats with a depth of flavor that brings complexity to the dish.

A delicious Indian recipe in which to use this freshly made meat masala is Meat Masala Curry.


  1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, combine the cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, and chilis.  Stir constantly until fragrant,  2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn the spices. Transfer the roasted spices to a plate and allow to cool completely.

2. Using a spice grinder, blender, or mortar and pestle, grind the roasted spices into a fine powder.

3. Add the turmeric, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon to the mix. Blend once more to ensure everything is evenly distributed.  Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.

Garam Masala Spice Mix

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Garam Masala translates to “hot spices,” but don’t let the name mislead you into thinking that this is just about heat. The term “garam” here is more reflective of the intensity and warmth the spices provide rather than spiciness. It’s a versatile blend of spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This mix is often added toward the end of cooking or even as a finishing spice to lend a final aromatic touch to dishes. From lentils and stews to biryanis and meat dishes, Garam Masala is a kitchen staple that transcends regional and communal boundaries.


Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds in a pan over medium heat until they become aromatic. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning the seeds.

Add the cloves, dried red chilies, and the cinnamon stick and roast for another 1-2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow the spices to cool down.

Once cooled, transfer them to a grinder and add the turmeric. Grind all the spices into a fine powder.

Your homemade garam masala is ready! Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

A traditional curry recipe in which to use your homemade garam masala is Chicken Curry with Garam Masala.

Biryani Masala Spice Mix

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Biryani masala holds a place of reverence in Indian kitchens, particularly for its role in crafting the much-loved rice dish known as biryani. Unlike other masalas that may be versatile in their usage, biryani masala is specialized; it is crafted to impart a depth of flavor and aroma that is unique to biryanis.


  1. In a dry small skillet over medium heat, combine all the spices except the nutmeg. Dry roast, stirring frequently, until th spices are aromati , 5-7 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool.

2. In a spice grinder, blender, or mortar and pestle, combine the cooled spiaces with the nutmeg. Grind everything to a fine powder. Transfer to a covered container and store at room temperature.

Chai Masala Spice Mix

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In Chai Masala, the word “chai” refers to tea in Hindi. This spice mix is a delightful blend that is specifically designed to enhance the flavors of Indian tea. Unlike other masalas that go well with food recipes, Chai Masala has its primary application in beverages. When brewed together with black tea and milk, it results in a fragrant, soul-soothing beverage that is deeply embedded in the cultural and social fabric of India.


Using a pan, lightly roast all ingredients over low heat until you smell the aroma of the spices. Ensure not to burn them.

Cool the spices.

Once they are cooled, grind them to a fine powder using a spice grinder.

Store this spice mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months.