Pile of Powder

Chaat Masala
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh

The most common use for this salty, sour powder is as a garnish for fruit, salads, vegetables, fruit drinks (particularly freshly squeezed sweet lime) and snacks of all kinds. It is an absolute essential for many street vendors, who mix their own, so recipes vary widely, The one here has uses a very popular set of ingredients. For variations see Note-5. This recipe will fit in a 4 oz spice jar, if you tap the jar to shake it down. The easiest way to use Chaat Masala for most applications is from a salt shaker.




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3
1
1/2
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3
1/8
4
1/2
1/8
1/2
1/2
1/2
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T
T
T
---
T
t
T
T
t
T
T
T
-- Toasted
Cumin seeds
Coriander seeds
Fennel seeds
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Black Salt (1)
Red Chili, dry (2)  
Amchur powder (3)
Black Pepper
Asafoetida (4)
Ginger powder
Mint, dried
Ajwain
Make   -   (20 min)
  1. On a dry tava, comal or skillet, over fairly high heat, separately dry toast each of the Toasted items, stirring often and being careful not to burn them. Each is done when it's unique aroma becomes more intense and it just starts to darken a shade. Since this happens at different points for each, it's important they be toasted separately. I always start with Cumin seeds because they make it easy to tell when the pan is at the right temperature. Cool them all well.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and grind them in a spice grinder until very fine.
  3. package in an airtight jar - it'll keep 5 months or so.
NOTES:
  1. Black Salt:   This sulfurous salt is essential to the correct taste and aroma of Chaat Masala. It can be had from specialty markets serving an Indian community. It should be purchased in chunks to assure it is real.
  2. Chili:   Most recipes include hot chili, but the amount varies radically. I use Indian Reshampatti, which is medium hot and has good flavor. The amount given here is "minimal" and should offend no-one. I usually use twice that - others use more. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Amchur Powder:   [Amchoor, Aamchur]   This is dried unripe mango, a standard souring agent in much of India, with a citrus-like taste. It is sold both as dried slices and as powder. It can be had from specialty markets serving an Indian community.
  4. Asafoetida:   [Hing]   The quantity given here is for pure ground hing. The common "hing powder" is cut with rice flour to about 1/3 strength, so adjust if that's what you have.
  5. Variations:   There is also a "Fruit Chaat Masala" which is lighter on cumin, coriander and ginger, but higher in black salt, asafoetida, amchur and chili. The simplest recipe is just Black Salt, Amchur powder and Asafoetida - these ingredients are not optional in any recipe.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required, tt=to taste
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