Spices you’ll need…
In my masala dabba: cumin seeds, ground turmeric, black cardamon, green cardamon, cassia bark (& cinnamon), whole star anise, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) & Kashmiri chilli powder. These are the main spices you will need, and of course garam masala.
Other spices I often use are: coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, whole cloves, dried whole Kashmiri chillies, saffron, whole black peppercorns, nigella seeds, paprika, & curry leaves. This isn’t an exhaustive list but these are common spices used in Punjabi cooking.
Garam Masala (purchase here)
See quick tip below, this will really help you to get ahead and make your curry quicker, without the faff of too much peeling and chopping. Be prepared, it’s good to be organised.
Now there’s a number of ways to prep the ginger, garlic & chillies. The first is to batch peel a load of each then blitz in a mini chopper with a scant amount of water, and freeze. Just de-stalk the chillies. You can freeze flat in freezer bags to make a ‘bark’ which is a space saver too, and snap off whatever you need to weigh out & defrost at the time. I use ice cube trays to freeze, do whatever works for you. This keeps pretty much indefinitely. Each cube should equate to 1 and a half teaspoons of minced ginger/garlic, which is roughly 3 garlic cloves or 1 inch of ginger.
The second method is to blitz your ginger & garlic together (an equal volume of each) and store in a Kilner jar or such like in the fridge. You just need a layer of oil on the top to help preserve it. Will last about a week.