I have recently started grinding my own masalas and podis in a coffee grinder, and I find it works exceedingly well. Everything is much more flavorful than when I use pre-packaged masalas. I’m trying to collect recipes for masalas and podis, and will blog them as and when I get them.A simple one that I have taken to using in lieu of garam masala, though, is this:
You need: 1 tbsp jeera (cumin seed); 1 tbsp dhania dana (coriander seed); 2 dried red chilies.
How to: Put it all in a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.
You could roast all of them before grinding – briefly, in a hot pan with no oil. I can’t because grinding roasted jeera activates my migraines, and I have not quite found an extreme difference in flavor. I think heat certainly activates the flavor, but it’s not worth the headache to me, so I don’t bother.
When you use this, be sure to add some haldi to the mix. It’s not garam masala, which is actually much fancier, but it’s got a nice flavor and smell and is fresh.