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Garam Masala

5 cinnamon sticks, 3 inch pieces
1 cup whole cardamom pods, preferably green
1/2 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup whole cumin seeds
1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
1/2 cup whole black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 200. Spread the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin,
coriander and peppercorns in one layer in a large shallow roasting
pan. Roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, stirring
and turning the mixture 2 or 3 times with a large wooden spoon.
Do not let the spices brown.

Break open the cardamom pods between your fingers or place them
one at 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 the seeds aside. Place the
roasted cinamon sticks between the 2 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 2 or 3 minutes, until they are
completely pulverized and become a smooth powder. If the machine
clogs and stops, turn it off, stir the spices once or twice, then
continue blending. As each cupful of the spices is grounded,
transfer it 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 to 6 months.


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