In the Southern regions of Asia, Chaat Masala has long been a popular way of seasoning food. The name itself translates as a reference to seasoned savoury snacks. Chaat Masala has many different variations of recipes yet has a few staple spices. For instance, you can usually find asafetida,
amchoor and black salt that is also native to this region.
Chaat Masala is more than just these three spices, however and for this recipe we also combine cumin, black pepper, ginger, fennel, chilli and a few others! Personally, I enjoy this variation the best because I love the heat that the chilli provides as well as the savoury, bitter, sour, and acidic nuances that the other spices add. You will also notice when you make this that I include just a pinch of salt as I use black salt for its potent distinctive aroma.
Salt really helps round out the general flavor of the blend as a whole, while also accentuating a few spices that could otherwise go unnoticed.
In addition to the extra ingredient, you will also see that this recipe requires toasting a few of the spices. The most important thing to remember when doing this is to not let the spices burn, use a low flame and keep moving them. When in doubt, pull them out! Even a light toast is better than nothing.
And while you could skip toasting them altogether, I highly recommend you do as the flavour is not near as impressive if you don’t do the toasting. Good luck!
4 tsp amchoor powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp ajwain seed
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch of table salt
It is crucial in this recipe to toast any whole spices that are listed for Chaat Masala.
This will allow the essential oils from the spices to be released and create an incredible flavour.
Do this by gathering your whole spices (in this case cumin seed, fennel, and ajwain).
Put a dry pan on medium heat and allow to warm up.
When it is warm, place the spice in the dry pan. Roll them around every 10 seconds or so for about 45 seconds to 1 minute so they do not burn. (It is important that the pan is dry.
Once the aromas are apparent and they have toasted for a minute or two, pour these spices in a bowl and allow them to cool completely. Next, place them in a spice grinder or mortar and grind.
Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Then add in the other spices and mix well.
There are manay uses for Chaat Masala, it can be sprinkled over roasted chicken, savoury baked foods, cooked vegetables, snacks and even over fruit!
Store in air tight container.
I use these so they are ready to sprinkle when needed and at hand with other seasonings.
Enjoy using your Chaat Masala!
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