Thursday, 6 March 2014

Kaala Masala

The Maratha Touch : Indian recipes are incomplete without spices. I remember, when my friend from San Francisco visited me, she was impressed to see how we stack all out spices and especially the "Masala box" which consists of the basic everyday essentials of Rai ( Mustard seeds), Jeera ( cumin seeds ), Corriander powder, red chilli powder, Garam masala, Turmeric and hing (Asafoetida ). For everyday curries, the Garam Masala suffices, but if you are making something special or regional, then adding that "Secret ingredient" is a must! Whenever i visit Mumbai, or my mother visits me, a bag full of local spices is always packed along! The same way, my husband being a Maratha, my Mother-in-law always gets me the Kaala Masala or the Khandeshi Masala which is traditional masala made in Vidarba ( Their home-town).

Kaala Masala has a distinct flavour and aroma, and is best used for non-vegetarian cooking or dishes-to-be-made spicy! The spicy-affair is not as you feel when you taste red chilli powder, but this one actually lingers on your tongue/throat-like an after-taste effect!
Kaala Masala, as the name suggests is dark brown in colour. It gets it's colour with the roast of dry coconut and the spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, black peppers etc. I tasted this the first time after marraige when hubby's aunt had prepared Baingan Masala, and it tasted so heavenly that i got some masala home from her :)
Since then, it is a must-have in my kitchen !!! You can make this in bulk and store in air-tight container... it lasts for more than a year!!!

Ingredients :

Dry coconut - 100 gms
Turmeric powder - 7 tbsp ( I find it difficult to grind whole turmeric in mixer, grinding them in a flour mill is the best option. But if you want to try , you can use about 50 gms of whole turmeric )
Cinnamon - 25 gms
Cloves - 25 gms
Green cardamom - 10 gms
Badi Elaichi ( Brown Cardamom) - 25 gms
Corriander seeds - 250 gms ( This is the most essential ingredient )
Dry red Chillies - 100 gms
Black Pepper - 25 gms
Shahi Jeera ( Caraway seeds ) - 25 gms 
Jeera ( Normal ) - 25 gms
Asafoetida - Around 4 tsp ( Again i find grinding asafoetida in mixer difficult, so i best use the powder form )
Dagad phool - 50 gms
Nutmeg - 1 tbsp ( powdered )
Bay leaf - 50 gms
Javitri ( Mace ) - 25 gms
Sunth ( Dry Ginger ) - 25 gms ( powdered )
Oil - a little 

Recipe :

1. Dry roast the red chillies ( without stems ) for about 7-8 mins and grind it to a powder. Keep aside.
2. Grate the dry coconut and roast it in a pan till it starts leaving aroma and becomes brown in colour. Let it cool. Set aside
3. Put a little oil ( Shouldn't be sticky and oily, just enough to roast the spices ) in pan each time and dry roast all the dry spices separately and set them aside to cool ( except the powder forms, just the whole spices )
4. When cool, grind all the ingredients together to make a smooth powder. Now add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Grind again.
5. Now add the red chilli powder grinded before. Give a spin again.
6. Now slowly add the roasted dry coconut little by little, grinding in between, to make a smooth powder. Make sure to mix it well occassinally, so the down portion doesn't become a sticky paste. It should be a smooth fine powder.
7. Let it stand for a minute. Remove from the grinder and let it cool.

Ahhh... The Aroma is Divine !!! isn't it? Now make some yummyliscious curries with this Masala and let us know how it tasted :))

Happy Cooking :)


  1. dagadphool is lichen n star anise is badiyan

  2. Gauri,

    My friend from pune says they add fried onion and tomatoes while blending the powder. Is that so, if so how long does the shelf life has. I live abroad,can i store this in fridge if we add onion and tomatoes.
    Plz reply

    1. Hi Shweta, you can add onion and tomatoes but you will have to freeze it and it will stay long upto 10-15 days but you will have to use a lot of oil and fry the masalas really well. Also, store the masala only when it cools down completely and in a zip lock bag. Or just use dry onion powder. But i would suggest making the onion tomato paste fresh and adding masala later on to it.


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