Chat Masala FAQ

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Chat masala is a spice mix that originated in the northern Indian subcontinent. It is used in preparing “chats”, which are savoury snacks or light meals, and sometimes also prepared with vegetables and other non-meat items. The word “masala” means mixture of spices and herbs, and the chat masala consists of a mixture of many such spices.

Preparation and form

The spices commonly found in chat masalas may include coriander seeds, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Some variants use a lot of salt as well to preserve the food better. A special type of chat masala can also be prepared by using whole spices instead of ground ones; however this is not common in the commercial preparation of chat masala.

The spices are roasted separately then ground to a fine powder using an electric grinder or stone grinder.

Popular dishes prepared with chat masala include:

Masaledar paneer tikka : pieces of cottage cheese (paneer) are marinated with chat masala and grilled on skewers.*

Papri chaat : pieces of crispy papri (fried flour disks), potato, onion pieces, coriander

Chat Masala is Indian spice mix made with a combination of cumin, coriander, black pepper and other spices. It is used to flavor various dishes, most notably dosa (a traditional South-Indian crepe) and idli (steamed rice cakes), as well as chutneys and numerous other spicy foods.

It is traditionally made in households from whole spices ground together using a stone mortar and pestle. Modern recipes also call for ground spices. The amount of each ingredient depends on personal preference, but typically includes 1/4 cup cumin seeds, 1/2 cup black peppercorns, 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, and 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger root. The ingredients are then mixed together in a container and left to sit in an airtight jar for several weeks, during which the oils from the ginger root become infused into the mixture.

This version of chat masala is not as traditional as it sounds: I live in Canada which has no tradition of making chat masala at home (South Indians have a taste for masalas that can only be called insatiable). And even if I had access to fresh cumin seeds and black peppercorns (which I don’t) I would be loathe

Chat masala (or chat mix, depending on who you ask) is a spice mix used in the Indian subcontinent. It is typically a mix of cumin, black pepper, red chili pepper, coriander, and possibly other spices. The exact spices and proportions vary by recipe and region.

The word “masala” means mixture or dish in Hindi and other languages of the subcontinent. The spice mixture itself is referred to as “chai patti” in Hindi, which literally means “spice powder”.

This page is about the spice mix called chat masala. You may be looking for the article about the Indian sweet snack called “chat”.

What is chat masala?

What is chat masala?

Chat masala is a mixture of spices that is commonly served with hot drinks such as tea. It is served both in India and in other countries where there is a large Indian population. In India it is often served with chai, or tea, and in the west it is often served with masala chai or chai tea. It can also be served with coffee.

The word “chat” means spice in Hindi and may derive from the Sanskrit word for pepper, which was once widely used in Indian cooking. The Hindi word for spicy food is masal, so the name for this combination of spices could have come from either word. In India the mixture of spices sold commercially as chat masala may vary by region and by individual maker, but it will always include cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Some mixtures might also include other spices that are common to Indian cooking such as coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves, ginger root, anise seeds, fenugreek seeds, mace blades (which are similar to blades of mace), nutmeg and black peppercorns.**

Chat masala, often referred to as chat masala or chat masala, is a spice mix used in South Asian cuisine. It is generally a mixture of dried whole spices, and is often ground at the table for use. While it can be bought ready-made from a store, this is rare, since most households make it themselves.

Called a “masala” (blend) because it blends together a number of spices, like garam masala, its flavor is different from that spice blend because it includes coriander and cumin seeds, while garam masala usually does not.

The spice blend is used in savory dishes with chickpeas and rice in countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has become popular in other varieties of South Asian cuisine due to the large South Asian diaspora.

There are some excellent sites for general Indian food information. The most famous is probably Madhur Jaffrey’s web site. I have also heard good things about Laxmi’s Kitchen and the Gourmet India site maintained by a woman named Madhuja.

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