You’ll often see the word ‘masala’ throughout Indian cooking, from garam masala to Kohlapuri Masala. It actually means a mixture of spices and there are lots of different types of masalas suitable for different dishes.
Garam Masala is one of the most famous masala powders. You can find it in the spice aisle of nearly every supermarket and many people think that its just 1 spices rather than a blend. Garam Masala is ideal fo any daily cooking and originates from North India, with the term garam in Hindi meaning hot. The blend typically includes coriander, cumin, black peppercorns fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.
The distinctive alluring aroma of any tandoori dish combines an essential tandoor spice blend, and of course, the smokiness from the tandoor (or if you’re cooking at home, the grill!). The tandoori masala is vital in Punjabi cuisine and uses coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, ground ginger, ground garlic, bay leaf, Kasuri Methi, cardamom, cinnamon, red chilli powder, mango powder, turmeric powder.
The Biryani masala is one of the most fragrant blends to make the perfect biryani. It uses bay leaf, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, star anise and fennel seeds.
Chaat Masala is the spice blend commonly used for the tangy flavour in Indian Street food favourites! Originating in Uttar Pradesh, make this flavoursome masala with mango powder, cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper asafoetida, red chilli powder, carom seeds, and mint.
Sambar is a famous South Indian dish that is essentially a fiery vegetable stew, often with lentils. Cook up the famous flavour the a masala filled with coriander seeds, bengal gram, red chill, fenugreek, curry leaves, cumin, black pepper, asafoetida, and turmeric.
Panch Phoron is one of the most unique masalas in India. It literally translates from Hindi into ‘blend of five spices’, so it’s no surprise it has five spices! It’s traditional used in tempering where the spices are fried in hot oil or ghee and then added to a range of dishes. All in equal quantities, panch phoron uses nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin, black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds.
Chana Masala is a delicious North Indian chickpea curry with aromatic spices for a comforting taste. Create the blend with Kashmiri red chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, and black pepper.
Masala Tea Powder
Masala tea powder is quite a bit different to the other blends we have on our list, but its absolutely essential for the perfect cup of Indian chai. One of the most popular drinks in India, the aromatic spices are integral to the flavour. A standard masala tea powder will include cloves, green cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg but can be vamped up with additions of saffron or dried rose petals.