Aai’s Goan Garam Masala ( Grandma’s Goan Spice Mix)

Goan Hindu Cuisine includes a huge repertoire of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian recipes. Being a Goan Hindu born and brought up in Mumbai, I was forever fascinated about our cuisine and asked Aai ( Mum’s Mum) and my Mum a lot of questions about the foods that are eaten  in Goa. Aai is such a splendid cook, let us say she has been my Cooking School all my life. Even today when I visit Mumbai I learn a couple of new recipes from her.

One of the key reasons to launch Mumbai 2 Melbourne was to bring my readers some Authentic Goan Recipes and in a way to document them and preserve them. Most of these traditional recipes have been verbally advised by Grandmothers to their daughters and to their daughters. Some precious recipes have been lost in transit and I want to preserve my glorious Goan food heritage.

I guess becoming a mother has made me even more of a preserver of these recipes as I want the next generations to cook and eat these authentic traditional Goan recipes too.

I already have a few recipes on the blog such as:

Goan Prawns Rawa fry

Drumstick Aamti

Prawns Aamti

Vangyache Bharit

Bhajyachi Aamti

Futi Kadhi

I have linked them to their original posts so click on them to read the recipes.

There is not much available on Google or Wikipedia about Goan Garam Masala. The very reason being the aforementioned, lack of written documentation by the previous generations. Goan Garam Masala is used in Lentil Aamtis, Chicken Curry, semi dry fish gravies and Mutton and Potato Curries,

It has 2 parts to it, the first part consisting of roasted spices which is blended into a fine powder. The second part to the Goan Garam Masala is roasted coconut and onion which are ground finely.

The blended spice mixture is stored separately and will last a month if stored in an airtight container. The roasted coconut and spice powder is added to the blended spice mixture just while preparing a meal with it such as Chicken Curry

So the Spice Blend and Coconut and Onion Powder are added together to say a Chicken Curry or Lentil Aamti. So they are used interdependently to complete the meal. 

Hence I class them both together as Aai’s Goan Garam Masala. Here is a Mumbai 2 Melbourne Exclusive recipe that will become a favourite in your kitchen once you try it.

The Ingredients needed to make Goan Garam Masala :

The ingredients listed below will yield 250 gms of masala. Just double the quantity of ingredients to get you about 500 gms of the final Garam Masala.

♦ Oil- 1.5 tablespoon

♦ Garlic Cloves – 6 in number

♦ Coriander Seeds- 1 tablespoon

♦ Cloves – 5-6 in number

♦ Peppercorn – 5-6 in number

♦ Fennel Seeds – 1 teaspoon

♦ Cinnamon Bark – 1/2 inch

♦ Mace – 1/2

♦ Stone Flower/ Dagad phool – 1/2 flower

♦ Cardamon Pods – 2 in number

♦ Nutmeg – 1/4th inch piece

♦ Dried Red Chillies – 4 in number

♦ Freshly Grated Coconut- 200 gms

♦ Onion chopped – 1 tablespoon

Making the Goan Garam Masala:

♦ Take a wok, add 1 tablespoon oil and let it heat on a low flame. Add 6 garlic cloves and let them turn pinkish. Next add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and roast them with the garlic.

♦ Next add 1/2 of the mace, 1/2 of a stone flower, 2 cardamon pods peeled, 1/4 inch piece of nutmeg. Mix this well with the rest of the spices. Roast for a couple of minutes.

♦ Now add 5 to 6 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon bark, roasted red chillies and 6 peppercorns and fry them for a couple of seconds.The cloves and peppercorn usually start to crackle and that is the right time to switch of the gas.

♦ Let it cool down to room temperature and grind it to fine powder using a spice grinder.The Spice Blend of Goan Garam Masala is ready. Store this in an airtight glass jar for about a month.

♦ As I said previously whenever the Goan Garam Masala is used powdered roasted Onion and Coconut is added to the Dish. The Roasted Coconut and Onion mixture is usually made and consumed within 2 days. So you make it separately to the Rest of Goan Garam Masala.

♦To Make this second part of the Goan Garam Masala, take 200 gm freshly grated coconut and 1 tablespoons of finely chopped onion.

♦ Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and roast the onion and coconut mixture on low flame till the onion and coconut mixture browns. Switch off the flame and grind to fine powder.

Next mix this with Aai’s Goan Garam Masala while preparing Lentil Aamtis, Goan chicken curry, Goan Egg Masala, Cauliflower Masala Bhaji amongst others.

I will be posting the Masoor Aamti on the blog next using Aai’s Goan Garam Masala so watch this space. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s traditional recipe for Aai’s Goan Garam Masala. Definitely leave me your feedback in the comments below.

Have a fabulous and healthy week ahead.

  1. This is my favourite masala of as I ie your grandma & my mother .Because she put garlic in that it gives unique taste.Thanks for for taking aai’ s legacy forward.God bless u

    1. Thank you so much Mom. You ans Aai are the foundations of my cooking skills and food palette
      Thanks for the amazing food you guys cooked for me in the growing up years

  2. i loved this recipe. I think something similar is available packaged in Mumbai nd my husband loves it. I’m going to try this one and use this instead. thanks for such n amazing recipe.

  3. I am saving this masala recipe for next weekend happy eating hours at home. I usually get malvani masala for preparing non-vegetarian dishes, but this looks awesome. And home made.. superb.

  4. Yeah it’s not easy to find original Goan masala recipe. Atleast I’ve struggled a lot for this. This is indeed authentic and super easy way to prepare at home.

  5. This recipe of garam masala is almost similar to our garam masala except for the coconut and few other ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Deepa… Yes the coconut makes a difference to the taste and the amount of the ingredients also changes the taste of masala

  6. Very well written info on how to make Goan Masala, will definitely want to try this at home. Add it to some of the dishes and check the combination. Thanks for sharing the info 🙂

  7. This is one recipe which ona and all will die for..This spice mix is definitely on my list now. will make this after 4-5 years I guess. Thank you for bringing back some beautiful memories. 🙂


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