I never thought I would make masalas at home someday. Never. It’s for mom’s, grandmom’s and MDH/Everest, not for me. Or so I thought. Until now. Until I started taking my food seriously, until I observed health scares, food adulteration and until I started blogging.
Blogging has opened such new avenues, roads and direction, that attempting something new or bizarre is on my TO-Do list most of the time. It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful that I at least ‘think’ of making bread at home(till a year back I would have said ‘are u mad?!’ )
And now, I want to make granola, pies, tart cases, breads, dried nuggets, masalas at home! Yay!
Moral: Never say ‘Never’.
The beauty of making things from scratch is that it is actually not that difficult as they seem to be. Especially these spice powders/masalas. With the right ingredients at hand, all you need is the zest to do stuff.
The other day I set out to make paneer tikka. Opening up my precious saved recipes, I glance through the ingredient list and am bummed by the presence of Tandoori Masala.
Now a little word on my culinary needs and uses for these spice powders. Usually, mostly I refrain from using these mixes. Especially the market variety where they use preservatives and colors. The only powders I use are for Channa and Sambhar – both of which are sent by dear mothers( God bless them!). And sometimes, when mother attempts something new, she sends me a little of that too. Sweet.
But, now with no tandoori masala at hand, I set to make some of my own.
Stunned by the simplicity of the procedure, I was even more ecstatic with the fragrance it emanates once mixed with food.
I am fascinated by colors, beauty and aroma of what nature has to offer, like this gorgeous Star Aniseed. Its fragrant, flavorful and fabulous. Just one or two of this beautiful spice is enough to take anything to another realm.
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1-2 star aniseed
- 3/4 tbsp cloves
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 tbsp red chili powder(I use kashmiri powder – very red but not very spicy)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-3 tsp salt
Heat a wok, dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star aniseed, cloves and cinnamon. After 7-8 minutes, switch the flame off. Cool the mix. Grind along with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Store in air tight container.
I live in Mumbai, where its hot and humid most of the time, so I refrigerate the spice mixes in order to retain color and flavor. So, please do as you deem fit.
For best results, use this powder as a garnish or stir it in the last minute and avoid cooking it.
Uses of Tandoori Masala:
1. In the marinade for Paneer Tikka.
2. On Punjabi tandoori Pizzas
3. Stir/Garnish it in soups/dals.
4. Best in punjabi dishes, like Dal Makhani, Paneer makhani etc.
5. Non vegetarians can use it with their chicken.
6. Sprinkle on pakoras/bhajjiyas
7. Sprinkle on paneer or vegetables in kathi rolls.
I have tried this aromatic mix on pizzas, dal makhni and paneer tikka wrap. Needless to say the result were outstanding.