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Tandoori Masala

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For the best tandoori, make your own tandoori masala!

In most of the Indian restaurant kitchens I have visited, the chef has his own special blend of garam masala that he uses in his curries and marinades.

Tandoori masala, on the other hand is usually a commercial brand. There are some great tandoori masalas out there.

So you really could achieve that amazing curry house tandoori flavour using a commercial brand. This is a recipe I’ve developed over the past couple of years and I do make it often.

Tandoori masala

This tandoori masala will take your tandoori dishes to the next level.



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.

Roasting the spices.

Making tandoori masala

Grinding the garlic and dried onion.

Making tandoori masala

Mix the ground spices with the ground garlic and onion.

Making tandoori masala

Adding food colouring is optional.

Yield: 1 cup

How To Make Tandoori Masala

How To Make 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
  • 3 dried bayleaves
  • 1 small piece of mace
  • 5 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.

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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?

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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