An old neighbor of mine's Mom went to some eastern Indian cooking classes in Fremont, CA., and brought me a batch of her homemade curry powder. This stuff was so amazing we struck a deal: every time she brought me a batch of this powder I'd throw one of my turkey curry feasts... It was a great arrangement as she'd always bring enough of this fragrant powder I could do tons of other stuff with it. Recenly I've told my wife this story enough times it was time for me to antie up, which I now do for you also. DO TRY THIS... This easy-to-make spice blend is the heart of most Indian dishes. A combination of different spices, it probably has as many recipes as there are families in India! Here is a basic one. Once you get a feel for the taste it gives your cooking, experiment and alter it to suit your needs. Garam masala is best made fresh just before you begin cooking, but if you havent got the patience (like me!), make a batch ahead and store for several months in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place (I use old spice jars). Mis en place: 4 tbsps coriander seeds 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 ½ tsps black cumin seeds (shahjeera) 1 ½ tsps dry ginger ¾ tsp black cardamom (3-4 large pods approx) ¾ tsp cloves ¾ tsp cinnamon (2 X 1 pieces of cinnamon stick) ¾ tsp crushed bay leaves PREPARATION: Heat a heavy skillet on a medium flame and gently roast all ingredients (leave cardamom in its pods till later) except the dry ginger, till they turn a few shades darker. Stir occasionally. Do not be tempted to speed up the process by turning up the heat as the spices will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside. When the spices are roasted turn of the flame and allow them to cool. Once cooled, remove the cardamom seeds from their skins and mix them back with all the other roasted spices. Grind them all together, to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place THEN try making this dip with the fresh curry powder... WOW !!