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Garam Masala

5 3-in pieces cinnamon stick
1 c whole cardamom pods, preferably green cardamom pods
1/2 c whole cloves
1/2 c whole cumin seeds
1/4 c whole coriander seeds
1/2 c whole black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 200F. Spread the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin,
coriander and peppercorns in one layer in a jelly-roll pan or large
shallow roasting pan. Roast on the bottom shelf of oven for 30
min, stirring and turning the mixture two or three times with a
large spoon. Do not let the spices brown or burn.

Break open the cardamom pods between your fingers or place them
one at a time on a flat surface and press down on the pod with the
ball of your thumb to snap it open. Pull the pod away from the
seeds inside and discard it. Set seeds aside.

Place the roasted cinnamon sticks between the two layers of a folded
linen towel and pound them with a rolling pin or a kitchen mallet
until they are finely crushed.

Combine the cardamom seeds, crushed cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds,
coriander seeds and peppercorns in a small pan or bowl and stir
them together until they are well mixed.

Grind the spices a cup or so at a time by pouring them into the
jar of an electric blender and blending at high speed for 3 or 3
min, until they are completely pulverized and become a smooth
powder. If machine clogs and stops, turn it off, stir spices once
or twice, then continue blending. As each cupful of spices is
ground, transfer to a jar or bottle with a tightly fitting lid.

Garam masala may be stored at room temperature in an airtight
container, and will retain its full flavor for 5 or 6 months.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

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