Chaat masala is usually used in small amounts sprinkled over finished dishes to give them just a bit more kick. I often use it in my marinades for tandoori cooking as well.
There are some good commercial chaat masala brands available at Asian markets and also some supermarkets. Like all of the spice blends I use in my cooking, I like to make my own. Homemade is just plain better.
When you roast and grind your own spices in recipes like chaat masala, garam masala and curry powder, you not only get a more powerful and tasty flavour but a stronger aroma too.
We enjoy our food not just through our mouths but through our noses. Therefore making your own chaat masala will greatly enhance your dishes and make mealtime more enjoyable.
To come up with this recipe I did a lot of experimenting. I tested commercial brands and tried to improve them. I think I’ve done it here.
Chaat masala has a quite distinctive flavour. The use of citric acid powder is used in a lot of commercial brands but I’ve chosen to use the more authentic amchoor (dried mango) powder which gives the spice blend a sharp citrus flavour. It’s available online and at Asian food shops.
Another important ingredient is the black powdered salt. Again, I have only seen this in Asian shops and a few gourmet spice shops. Black salt tastes terrible on its own with a strong sulphur flavour. You won’t want to add it to your fish and chips but it works well with the other ingredients in chaat masala. I don’t usually add salt to my spice blends but this eggy flavoured salt is a must.
Here are some more popular spice blends you might like to try.
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 4 tablespoons amchoor powder
- 3 tablespoons powdered black salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespon ajwain/ carom seeds
- Roast the whole spices in a dry frying pan over medium heat until they become fragrant.
- Allow to cool slightly and then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and grind some more until you have a very find powder.
- Store in a cool, dark location for up to two months.
I hope you enjoy this chana masala recipe. It can be used in so many different recipes. If you do try it, please don’t be a stranger. Let me know in the comments.
I’d love to hear from you.