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List of the spices used in making mom’s homemade garam masala:

  1. Asafetida {hing} – used as a digestive aid, asafetida has a strong odor that mellows out into a garlic-onion flavor.

  2. Bay leaves {tamal patra} – aromatic bay leaves with impressive health benefits which includes detoxifying the body.

  3. black pepper {miri} – hot pungent spice, black pepper helps improve the stomach’s ability to digest foods and promotes intestinal health.

  4. black cardamom {badi velchi} – often referred to as queen of spices, black cardamom gives a smoky flavor to curries.

  5. cardamom {velchi} – sweet and invigorating spice, green cardamom adds a fresh flavor to many recipes.


  6. cumin seeds {jeera} – with its earthy, musky flavor; cumin seeds is one of the most popular spice.

  7. black cumin seeds {shah jeera} – slightly bitter than cumin seeds; black cumin seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber.

  8. cinnamon {daalchini} – sweet-spicy flavored cinnamon sticks enhance the flavors in many dishes.

  9. cloves {lavang} – with a distinct and undeniable warmth, cloves are one of the most powerful spices with intense flavors.

  10. coriander seeds {dhana} – Citrusy flavored coriander seeds add warm and nutty flavors.

  11. dried red chilies {lal mirchi} – with a rich earthy flavor, chilies add perfect heat and color to foods.

  12. fennel seeds {badishep} – lightly sweet and licorice-flavored, fennel seeds are a good digestion aid.

  13. fenugreek seeds {methi} – bitter-tasting fenugreek seeds help control diabetes and have diverse benefits for skin, hair, and health.

  14. mace {jaipatri} – mace is the outer covering of nutmeg that adds subtle and delicate flavors.

  15. nutmeg {jaiphal} – sweet and pungent nutmeg adds a warm note to savory dishes.

  16. poppy seeds {khuskhus} – adds nutty flavors and khuskhus is also a good source of minerals.

  17. star anise {badyaan} – star anise adds a sweet-licorice flavor to curries.

  18. stone flower {dagadphool} – with a strong earthy aroma this anti-inflammatory kalpasi spice is also dominant in South Indian Chettinad cuisine.

  19. turmeric {halkund} – with a mild woody flavor, turmeric is a superfood with natural anti-inflammatory properties.