Discovering the Magic of Masala Powder

Masala Powderis Masala Powder is the Hindi word that means spice. It can also be used to mean a blend of spices which can be dry spices or the combination of dry and fresh ingredient (masala sauce, masala paste) used to flavor an item.

Indian spices are key to authentic Indian dishes. While essential spices which are commonly used are stored in my masala dabba, or Indian spice box I also keep some Indian spice mixes on hand.

Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse and diverse, even though it is often put together in a jumble of “curries.” Based on your personal tastes and cooking habits some (or all) of the Indian spice mixes will be beneficial to have in your pantry.

How Masalas are Used in Indian Cooking

The most common ways that to use spices include:

  • Whole spices often used in tadka/temperingGround spices added directly to the dish to layer flavor Masala paste/sauce: Ground spices sauteed with onions, garlic etc. to impart the oil with flavor

Individual Masalas Or Spices

This primer on Indian spices provides a complete list of Indian spices as well as photos with short descriptions. It’s designed to be a summary of the various spices that are used in Indian food preparation.

Contrary to what many believe, spices are utilized to enhance the flavor of dishes, but not necessarily make them hot. Every Indian spice provides a unique flavor and many is able to give dishes a unique blend of mouth-watering tastes.

Some examples of the individual spices used include cumin seeds and coriander seeds, mango powder as well as star anise and black pepper. The complete Indian spice catalog provides images, descriptions and suggestions for substitutes.

Indian Spice Blends

Dry Spice Blends

I have a list of the most popular Indian spice blends but I’d say the most widely used one in Indian cuisine is garam masala powder. Garam masala translates literally to hot spices (garam is hot, and masala is the word for spice.).

This Indian spice blend is made using whole spices that are roasted, letting them cool before grinding them into a fine powder using a spice grinder. The spice mix is added to the dishes together with OTHER spices to create various dishes. The combination of spices is a large one of the things that make good authentic Indian cuisine taste amazing.

The masala is made of a mixture of spices that varies across regions and family preferences. Our family uses our personal garam masala blend my grandmother would make!

It is a extremely popular spice mix. The mix is incorporated into milk, water together with leaves of tea (black tea) to make the ultimate warm cup of masala chai or masala tea!

Five ingredients are typically used in this blend. These are cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger. In Indian homes, you’ll often find other spices added in such as fennel or Nutmeg.

Other spice blends include chaat masala,

Whole Spice Blends Whole Spice Blends

  • Panch phoron

Masala Paste Or Sauce

  • Bhuna masala

A mixture of ground spices and tomatoes, or tomato puree and onions is cooked in oil to form the form of a paste. The paste can be used as a base for numerous dishes, such as the chana masala, dals and other dishes.

Tikka masala sauce as well as Makhani sauces are two other examples of this.

Making At Home

Making your own spice blends made at home increases the flavor of your food.

  • It is a key differentiator in home cooking and it is possible to make it according to your individual tastes and spice proportions. The ground spices you buy ready-to-use are kept on the shelf for a long time, and they lose their flavor.
  • Making this at home you can also be sure that there are any other ingredients. This can be more cost-effective.
  • It’s not difficult to make it is not difficult. Usually, the blend of spices ground is composed of common ingredients (if you cook Indian dishes regularly at home)


These blends can be stored inside an airtight container and will keep fresh for up to a month. Making small batches ensures the best flavor.

According to Bon Appetit “You shouldn’t keep ground spices for more than three months and whole spices for more than eight to ten.”

While I’m certainly guilty of not following that timeline very strictly, I regularly grind Indian spices and Indian spice blends in batches, a few times throughout the year.


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