Chaat Masala

1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ajwain seeds (optional)
1 – 2 whole red dried (or fresh) hot peppers*
1/2 – 1 inch stick cinnamon, broken up
a pinch asafoetida powder
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp mango powder (amchur)
1/2 Tbsp black salt
1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch ground cloves

*If using fresh peppers, slit them a few times so that air can escape.

Method:

Heat a small pan over medium heat, then, one at a time, dry roast 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, 1/2 Tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp cardamom seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp ajwain seeds, 1 – 2 whole red dried (or fresh) chillies, 1/2 – 1 inch stick cinnamon broken up, and a pinch asafoetida powder. Each should take about a minute (only roast the asafoetida powder for 30 seconds); you will know a spice is done when it becomes fragrant. I simply move each spice to my mortar and pestle as I finish roasting it (you can, of course, use a spice grinder if you prefer).

Add 1 Tbsp garam masala, 1 Tbsp mango powder (amchur), 1/2 Tbsp black salt, 1/2 Tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp powdered nutmeg, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, and a pinch powdered cloves to the roasted spices.

Grind the spices together until they form a uniform powder. Store in a jar; this masala will keep well for a year although its strength will decline over time.

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