Once you have tasted the Indian chaat recipes, that mouth-puckering flavoured bomb will leave you spellbound forever. Do you know the real secret? That flavour you crave comes from a unique spice blends like the chaat masala (or chat masala).
The moment we take Indian cuisine, spice blends are the best learning. It creates the best understanding of the balance and the combination creates various permutations that create a variety of taste profiles. Chaat masala is that unique spice blend that is used in most popular Indian street snacks. With a tangy mango flavour, the salty hit from the black salt and the zingy madness that comes from the mint and other ingredients makes itself one of the best spice blends ever in the Indian, Pakistani and Bangla cuisines.
What goes in a chaat masala?
The chaat masala is one of the most complex flavours to describe. However, it is the best feeling to taste it. The masala is just a few spices and kala namak that make it so unique. Mainly, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds are the fragrant part. The mint leaves give the complexity. The tanginess comes from the aamchur. the spice is from the ginger powder and the peppercorns. Tying it all together is the Black salt. Make it once and you will make it very many times. Follow the recipe card below for the details of the measurements and blending requirements.
Making the chaat masala at home
Chaat masala is easily available in most Indian grocers. Then, why make it at home! Here is the difference.
The store-bought ones are dulled in flavour. This happens because they are made and packed ahead of time. Spice does lose its intensity when kept for longer times.
The colour of the store-bought ones is slightly dull grey. It is a much more vibrant colour when you make it at home because you will be roasting the ingredients to golden perfection.
The salt hit can be adjusted. Some store-bought chaat masalas are so salty. For making chaats you actually don’t need this salt hit, rather it is nicer to adjust the salt as needed and have the black salt shine through.
No preservative. This is where I have a huge problem with store-bought masalas. If stored and sealed properly, most dry masalas do not need a preservative. Make it at home, seal it in airtight bottles, use a clean spoon and you have your masalas fresher for much longer.
- spice blender
- frying pan
- measuring cups and spoons
- 3 tbsp aamchur dry mango powder
- 1 tbsp black salt kala namak
- 1 tsp dry ginger powder
- 2.5 tbsp cumin seeds jeera
- 1.5 tbsp caraway seeds ajwain
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds dhania
- 1 tbsp dry mint pudina
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- Dry roast the whole spices on low heat till aromatic.
- Add the black salt, ginger powder, aamchur and dry mint to this and blend smooth.
- Store the powder in an airtight bottle, till use.
Using chaat masala for the homemade snacks.
Chaat masala is that pep you need in your food. It brightens every monsoon day and dull weather. The best part is it lends itself well to cheese sandwiches too. It is the magic my kids haven’t figured out that makes my cheese sandwiches better than theirs. Here are a few more chaat ideas that cannot do without the chaat masala
Chickpea chaat salad
How to store Chaat masala spice blends?
Chat masala is all about flavour and fragrance, so the best way to store it is to keep it in airtight bottles. Usually, I split them into two, two small bottles, in this way one remains unopened and stays much longer. Use a clean dry spoon when you want to use it or add it to a sprinkler bottle.
Chaat masala Vs garam masala
Both garam masala and chaat masala are spice blends that use a variety of spices. As a quick preview, garam masala is a cooking spice whereas chaat masala is a sprinkling powder, just like the jeeravan masala or used in cold form, not for cooking. The salty feeling that chaat masala has along with the tanginess is not present in the garam masala. Garam masala also tends to be spicy and is used in curries or buna masala.
Other spice blends that you may want to explore.
Chaat masala was that spice mix I make rarely but love it more each time I do. When Jayashree picked masala mixes as the theme for shhh cooking this was the one I wanted to add. My partner Archana was ever so nice to give me a free run on it. Finally, we picked dried mint and black salt as the secret ingredients. Archana is a fantastic blogger with a lot of authentic Goan dishes under her blog, don’t miss the blog, especially for the love of butter idli!
Thank you for being the ever encouraging support system that makes my blog click. Guess what we are on the 625th post and I hope you are having fun reading them.
Make the chaat masala atleast once to experience the difference. When you do use our recipe, rate us and tell us how you went. We love to hear from you stag your creations #mildlindian on the socials. Stay connected with us by subscribing to this blog or through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Take care and see you in the next post.