Thursday, 21 February 2013


I make masalas at home. My Mom used to make but now i do. People wonder what i keep doing at home and why do i make everything at home when everything is available in the market.
There are many small and big reasons but the most important ones for food are:

1. I get 4 times the quantity with less raw materials.
2. I know what is going into it.
3. I have access to internet which is a guru in its own right and many enterprising talented people share experiences, recipes and what not. So might as well make use of it.
4.And as with most homemade stuff, some of the ingredients are always at home so no need to run outside to get it.

Here I would like to reiterate that i get a major kick out of : researching,trying and perfecting the recipe for homemade stuff. I feel like an accomplished queen when i see the final product ,be it sewing or food !The day i stop getting the kick out of doing things at home i'll quit doing so.......because everything can be bought at the market !!

In that way, i think making stuff at home is for yourself because outsiders don't appreciate it and family members don't really care untill it starts pinching the pocket! Its not that your husband or inlaws or parents, sisters and brothers are going to give you a medal for it !

 If you are a normal indian upper class,well to do woman [why women? ....because men don't really care what is there in their masalas and most indian men can't differentiate between the spices because they don't cook] earning well,you'll probably snort at doing stuff with your hands and would believe in paying for it ,buying it ready made, or pay someone else to do it.There is nothing wrong in that especially if you couldn't be bothered and don't care about homemade stuff in general.

Chaat masala - My tweaked and tested recipe

  1.  100g coriander seeds
  2.  50-60g cumin seeds
  3. 1.5 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds
  4. 50g black salt/kala namak
  5. 50g rock salt
  6. 5-7 kashmiri red chiles, stems removed
  7. 3 tbsp dried mango powder/amchur
  8. 1teaspoon dried ginger powder
  9. 1tbsp black peppercorns
  10. 3 tbsp dried mint
  11. 1tsp citric acid crystals
  12. 1" cinnamon stick,4-5 cloves 
I am an andaaza person- i eyeball everything. So i use andaaza in the above recipe too.

Roast coriander,cumin seeds peppercorns,cinnamon,cloves chillies . i prepare dried mint at home and store it in fridge in newspaper packet.To prepare dry mint ,take 1 bunch mint ,pick the leaves, wash it well, spread on the newspaper,dry it to crisp in sunlight in summers or very low setting in oven. I air dry for 24 hrs and then heat my dosa tawa and turn it off and spread the leaves on tawa. In few minutes it crisps up.

Another important aspect are salts- both black salts and rock should be equal in amounts. Grind everything together into fine powder and store in air tight container. This recipe will give more than 200g of chat masala at fraction of cost.

I use chaat masala everywhere: on cucumber slices, in chass[buttermilk],in cooking,on fruit, salads,boiled chana and practically everything.

Garam masala:
  • Star anise    1-2
  • Black cardamom   2
  • Black peppercorns    21/2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon     5" inch stick
  • Cloves     1 tablespoon
  • Green cardamom     4-5
  • Mace     1 blade
  • Coriander seeds     4 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds     3 tablespoons
  • bay leaves      3-4
  • red chillies     3-4   
Roast the spices lightly and grind it to fine powder and store in airtight containers.

Have fun !

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