And here we are in the final stage of our recipe competition! We’ve explored a range of spice mixtures over the course of this year, from Tunisian, to Japanese, to Middle Eastern. As our last challenge we’ll bring in a spice mix that is perhaps more common than the others, but just as dynamic.

Please submit your recipe to by January 25th. The winning recipe will then be featured in our next issue, and added to the pool of finalists for the year-end prize of the six-volume, 2,438-page set, Modernist Cuisine cookbook, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. This is your last chance!



Garam masala meaning, “garam” meaning “hot” and “masala” meaning “mix,” is a North Indian combination of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and black peppercorn. “Hot” refers to the toasted spices and powerful flavors. Variations—and there are many—can include ginger, turmeric, dried red chili and garlic. While there are prepared versions readily available, this is traditionally made fresh with whole seeds and pods, which are toasted and then ground.

Pre-prepared garam masala is acceptable for recipe entries, but if you wish to make your own, below is a common formula to follow.

  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Toast on medium-low heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Reserve one week and two days to grind with a mortar and pestle, or, alternatively, take a minute to grind to a fine powder using a clean coffee grinder.

Have fun, explore and good luck!

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