Preparation / Directions:
This is a version of the most common type of garam masala used throughout Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab, which goes well with onion-based sauces for meats and poultry. It is a spicy, pungent blend. Change the proportions to suit your taste and the dish.
Break the cinnamon sticks into pieces. Crumble the bay leaves. Heat a heavy frying pan and after 2-3 minutes put in the whole spices. Dry roast over a medium heat until the color darkens, stirring or shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. Leave to cool, then grind and blend with the mace. In an airtight container, the mixture will keep for 3-4 months.
* To make a mild and subtle Moghul Masala, use only green cardamoms, cinnamon, black peppercorns, mace and a few cloves.
* For a hot Gujerati Masala, add sesame seeds, fennel seeds, ajowan seeds and chiles.
* For a mildish Kashmiri Masala, use black cumin seeds, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, mace, and add a little grated nutmeg.
* For a hot Parsi Dhansak Masala, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, chiles and ground turmeric, and double the amount of coriander seeds.
Source: Jill Norman "The Complete Book of Spices", Viking Studio Books, 1991 - ISBN 0-670-83437-8 The book is lavishly illustrated with full color photographs of the herbs and spices- whole, mixed, ground.