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Kate Heyhoe  

Chaat Masala

by Kate Heyhoe

 

Chaat Powder

Makes 1/4 cup

 

In India, chaat refers to both a spice blend and a salad that uses the spice blend. Indian markets sell pre-mixed chaat masalas (the spice blend) that are quite good and ready to use. Or, buy the ingredients and make your own custom-blend.

This recipe makes one version of chaat powder or chaat masala, but feel free to play with the ingredient amounts to reach the balance of sour, salt, and piquancy that suits your personal taste.

If you can't find black salt, leave it out. There is no substitute for this unusual, smoky tasting form of rock salt. Though it's called black salt, it actually is more reddish when pulverized. Amchoor, being a dry powdered form of mango, adds the tartness to chaat. It's a handy ingredient for any recipe when you want to add a bit of fruity tartness without additional liquid.

Sprinkle a touch of chaat masala on salads, fruit, potatoes, or any vegetable, to perk up the flavors instantly.

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt (white)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper

 

Combine all ingredients. If necessary, use a mortar and pestle to grind out any lumps. Store air-tight until ready to use.

Note: Most Indian chaat blends include a bit of asafoetida, a pungent spice that may be too strong for western noses (the sulfur in it smells a bit like rotting eggs). I've left it out, but if you want to make a more authentic version of chaat masala, add just a pinch to balance the flavors.

Recipes using chaat masala:

 

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Copyright © 1999, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page created 1999. Modified November 2006.


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