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Chaat Masala

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Chaat Masala
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Zingy, tangy, slightly hot Chaat masala is the perfect seasoning! It gets its distinctive flavor from the black salt used to make it. Though often used as a spice in cooking, Chaat Masala is mostly used as a garnish on salads, Chaats (a generic name for hot, tangy, sweet nibbles), drinks (like Indian lemonade!), curries, daals etc. I adore Chaat Masala and as a child, could often be found with some in the cupped palm of my hand (hiding it from my Mother) so I could dip bits of raw mango in it! This recipe for Chaat Masala makes just under 1 cup of the masala, so multiply the ingredients if you need more.

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsps cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsps saunf/ fennel seeds
  • 4 tbsps raw mango/ amchur powder
  • 3 tbsps powdered black salt 

  • 1 and a 1/2 tsps freshly ground black pepper 

  • 1/4 tsp hing/ asafetida powder
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsps ginger powder
  • 1 tsp dried, powdered mint
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsps ajwain/ carom seeds

Preparation:

Make sure to use your homemade Chaat Masala up within 2-3 months of making it, as the ingredients will lose their potency if stored to long. Store Chaat Masala in a glass container, in a cool, dry place. Do not store with other spices as the ingredients in Chaat Masala (especially the Black Salt) are highly aromatic and the other spices will take on its aroma. This is a basic recipe but when you've made it a few times and are familiar with the ingredients and how they taste with each other, you can also experiment with other combinations of the spices (increasing some and decreasing others) to make your own custom blend!
  • Set up a flat griddle on medium heat. When hot, put the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds on it.
  • Dry roast these ingredients till the seeds begin to turn a little darker and start to give off their aromas. Stir often while roasting, to prevent the seeds from burning.
  • When the seeds have roasted, take them off from the pan and spread on a plate to cool.
  • When cool, mix the seeds with all the other ingredients in a clean, dry, coffee grinder or food processor and grind till you get a fine, smooth powder. The Chaat Masala is now ready to be used.

Tips:

  • Sprinkle Chaat Masala on almost any green salad for added zing!
  • Add a pinch of Chaat Masala to lemonade and stir to give it an instant lift.
  • Indian vegetarian dishes taste particularly good with a small garnish of Chaat Masala. After the dish is cooked and you have turned off the heat, sprinkle a few pinches of Chaat Masala over the top of the dish and cover immediately. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and serve. Enjoy!
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