In India, we don’t stick to one recipe. We Indians like to do it a “little” differently. Each recipe varies from one generation to another and person to person. Indian food is often thought as complicated and balancing between the spices can be a task for some. It is not everyday that a person grinds spices for the blends but it is definitely worth making on special occasions.
There a few spices that go into every north indian spice blend-
- Dried red chillis- preferably Kashmiri red chillis
- Coriander seeds
- Cardamom (Normal and black)
- Bay leaf
The thing I like about grating nutmeg is that as you go on grating, it begins to look like the brain with all its convolutions.
Apart from these there are many other spices used but if you stock up on these, it is more than enough. Making spice blends at home may be intimidating but trust me, once you start making, you cannot stop, The AROMA, the FEEL will keep you wanting for more. Tandoori masala is one of the most famous spice blends which is traditionally used by Punjabis.
Most of us usually buy the powder blend, but how many of you have ever tried making it your own spice blends? If you haven’t, this is the time you try. After many trials, I’ve come up with this spice blend which works perfectly for me. But once you start making it, you will tend to add your own twist to it to suit your preferences which will make it your family’s special blend .
Note- You can change the quantity of red chilies to suit your palate and spice level.
For my Tandoori powder:
Ingredients– (Makes 1 big cup)
- Coriander seed- 1 teaspoon
- Dried red chilli (prefarably Kashmiri)- 4 to 5
- Fenugreek seeds- 1 teaspoon
- Cumin- 3 teaspoons
- Star anise- 1
- Black peppercorns- 1 tablespoon
- Mace (javitri)- 1
- Cinnamon or Casia bark- 2 to 3 (medium sized)
- Cloves- 4 to 5
- Black cardamom- 1
- Whole green cardamom- 4 to 5
- Half nutmeg; grated
- Chilli powder- 2 tablespoons or depending on your spice tollerance
- Turmeric- 1 teaspoon
- Ginger powder- 1 teaspoon
- Garlic powder- 1 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste (About 2 pinches)
Toast all the ingredients listed from 1 to 11 in a dry pan for 1 or 2 minutes or until the spices have released their oils and gives a distinct aroma.
Once toasted, blitz the spices in a spice grinder or a regular grinder till you get a slightly course powder. To this, add the chilli powder, ginger powder, garlic powder, tumeric, grated nutmeg and salt. It is best when used the same day or store in air tight containers upto the next use.