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Tandoori Masala – Homemade Tandoori Spice Powder

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For the best tandoori, make your own tandoori masala!

You will find many tandoori masala recipes out there. This tasty spice blend is amazing on poultry, meat, paneer and vegetables. You’ll get amazing results every time as the spices are freshly ground and roasted. Doing this really brings out their flavour!

Tandoori masala isn’t only good in a marinade. You can use it as a spice blend for many curries including this curry house style chicken tikka masala

Tandoori Masala


It’s just plain better! The roasted and ground spices take everything up a notch. There is so much more flavour than anything you can purchase.

The resulting tandoori masala is great used as a dry rub or mixed into marinades and curries.

I usually use mango powder (amchoor) to add a nice citric flavour to the blend. If you want that tandoori restaurant flavour, however you will need to use citric acid powder.


Your homemade tandoori masala will keep for at least three months in an air tight container. This is how I normally store it.

Once you’ve made this recipe, you might like to try making a tandoor masala paste with the powder. Here is the link to my recipe.

The paste lasts longer than the ground powder and is delicious stirred into curries, raitas and marinades.

I don’t always add red food colouring powder as it adds no flavour.

If you want that curry house look, however, you might like to add it.


Roasting spices for the tandoori masala blend

Roast the whole spices over a medium high heat until warm to the touch and fragrant but not yet smoking.

The roasted spices on a plate cooling.

Pour the hot, roasted spices onto a pate to cool a little.

Adding the roasted spices to a spice grinder

Pour the cooled spices into a spice grinder or grind the with a pestle and mortar.

Adding the dried onions and garlic to a spice grinder.

Add the dried onions and garlic and then grind it all to a fine powder.

Adding the ground spices to the tandoori masala.

Once finely ground, add the turmeric, paprika, amchoor, dried ginger and chilli powder.

Adding red food colouring to the tandoori masala.

This is totally optional. If you would like your tandoori masala to be bright red, add about a tsp of red colouring.


Yield: 2 cups (about 18 tbsp)

Tandoori Masala

Adding the ground spices to the tandoori masala.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 dried bayleaves
  • 1 small piece of mace
  • 3 tablespoons dried garlic flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon anchoor (mango) powder or citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) red food colouring powder (optional)


  1. Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and mace in a dry frying pan and place over medium heat.
  2. Move the spices around in the pan so that they roast evenly. When the spices become warm to the touch and fragrant, remove them from the heat to cool.
  3. Grind these spices with a spice grinder or pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder.
  4. Now grind the garlic and onion flakes until you again have a fine powder and add this mixture to the ground spices along with the ginger powder and amchoor or citric acid powder.
  5. Add food colouring until you are happy with the colour and then store the tandoori masala in an airtight container in a cool cupboard and use as required.


If you don't have dried garlic and/or dried onions, you can substitute about a tablespoon garlic powder and 2 tsp onion powder. Just add it when you add the other ground spices.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 14Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

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Phoebe Agnew

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Hi there, thanks for this its my first time trying. Do I remove the bay leaves after heating and before grinding? As normally these are removed. Thanks so much, Phoebe

Dan Toombs

Monday 11th of January 2021

Yes, remove the bay leaves before grinding. Thanks Dan


Tuesday 28th of July 2020

I have garlic and onion powder in the cupboard already. I assume I can use them instead of buying dried garlic and onion and grinding them. My question is that if I use garlic and onion powder is it the same measurements (5 tbsp and 2 tbsp)?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Hi Yes - use about the same measurements, maybe just keep tasting after the first spoon to make sure you like the taste. Thanks Dan


Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Oh and thank you for the recipe


Sunday 2nd of April 2017

No Kashmiri pepper?

Max Herr

Monday 6th of November 2023

@Dan Toombs,

I use the kasmiri pepper for both the added heat I prefer and its natural coloring. A little paprika can also enhance the color rather than a synthetic colorant.

Dan Toombs

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Not in this recipe but I do use it. Throw some in!

Thanks, Dan


Monday 5th of December 2016

Please quatify one small piece of mace, the dial on my scales doesn't give me that

Dan Toombs

Friday 9th of December 2016

Hi Jason

It's really not that exact, but try about an inch long piece. You can always add a little more to taste.

Cheers, Dan

Ruwaydah Essa

Tuesday 9th of August 2016

Hi Could I ask why you did not use fresh garlic and ginger. Also how long Does this last, I mean what is the shelf life- does it need a 'preservative'. Love your attention to detail and recipes -

Dan Toombs

Saturday 13th of August 2016

Hi Ruwaydah

This masala will last for a good three months but the flavour and aroma is much better in the first day or so. I didn't use fresh garlic and ginger as it is a dry masala. I use fresh ginger and garlic in my curries.

Thanks, Dan

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 10th of August 2016

Hi Ruwaydah Thank you for stopping by. This is a spice powder blend so fresh garlic and ginger would make it wet and it wouldn't keep as long. I always use fresh garlic and ginger in my curry recipes. The dried ginger and garlic also have a different as well so it adds to marinades and curries.

Cheers, Dan

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