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Showing posts with label MASALA POWDERS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MASALA POWDERS. Show all posts

Friday, March 8, 2013


I would like to share this wonderful and healthy chai masala recipe that I got from my Punjabi friend here in Singapore.
Being born and brought up in the state of Maharashtra I learnt to savor tea infused with spices known as “Masala Chai”(Tea infused with spices) back in Mumbai.
The spice mix would always manage to give a punch to the otherwise normal cup of tea.
So when it’s raining and we are totally drenched or having a cold we would always go for a ginger laced tea or Masala tea.
Even the street stalls and restaurants serve the masala chai, its commonly available in India.   
What totally surprised me was when I found a version of the Masala chai at the McCafe at Singapore known as the Himalayan Tea Latte - A hot and calming exotic milk tea with a soulful infusion of spice flavor. They claim it to be a hot favorite. I nudged Yo (my husband) and pointed to the Menu feeling proud to find our Masala chai being internationalized and described so beautifully.
So what should be the ideal mix of spices one may ask.
The spices vary according to the place, the climate conditions in a particular region and sometimes due to personal preferences. But a typical Indian tea masala includes a combination of the following spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. They may also include Bishops weed, fennel seeds and other variants in some recipes.
Ideally if the spices are ground fresh and added to the tea it would taste good, But, since I belong to the generation which hardly has time for such luxuries. I made my tea masala for keeps. I made a small batch which I could use over a period of a month.
The spices in the tea masala are known to aid in digestion, provide heat during cold weathers like winters or rains, they are believed to chase a fever or cure a cold.
I believe that they are soothing and refreshing and add a zing to your regular cuppa.
My friends recipe doesn’t have peppercorns, but mine has.
Here is my recipe for Punjabi Tea masala, do make it and savor your tea with the soulful infusion of the spices.

Cinnamon stick – 1 whole stick
Big Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 3
Small Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 10-12
Cloves (Lavang/Laung) – 3-4
Dried Ginger (Saunth / Soonth) – 1 piece or alternatively you can use the ginger powder about 1 and a half tablespoon.
Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) – a pinch
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fennel seeds(Saunf) – 1 tablespoon

Dry roast all the ingredients for 7-8 minutes until you can get a faint aroma of the spices. Let it cool completely. Once it is cool run it in the dry jar of a mixer/blender and grind into a fine powder. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Use the masala as and when required to make tea.

Indian Masala Tea
To make 2 cups of Masala tea. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add sugar, Tea leaves and the powdered masala and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add some milk and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.

Enjoy this with some biscuits while catching some news in your morning newspaper.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I would like to send this post for Lore's Original Recipes Event.

I would also like to send this for Roma's "Long Live The Shelf Event"

People prepare Kothamalli podi (Coriander powder), some prepare Pudina podi (Pudina powder) and yet others prepare Tenga Podi (Coconut powder). These are usually had as an accompaniment to our daily meals, idli, dosa or adai. But here is an exotic creation from my kitchen. I combined all 3 and the result is a tasty podi combined with the nutrition of the mint and coriander and the aroma of roasted coconut.
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Mint leaves – 1 bunch
Curry leaves – 10-12
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Udad Dal – 2 tbsps
Chana dal – 2 tbsps
Red chillies – 4-5 (If you like it spicier you can add more)
Tamarind – A lemon size ball
Oil - 1 tsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1-2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
De-stem the Mint leaves (pick the leaves from their stem), Pick the coriander leaves, De-stem the curry leaves, Rinse them in a colander well and spread on a newspaper till it is dry. If you can sun dry it will be good, the reason to dry them out is to get rid of the moisture that the leaves have after washing them.
Heat oil in a Wok (kadhai), Add the udad dal, chana dal and the red chillies, Tamarind, Asafetida. Fry until the dals turn pink and the chillies turn plump. Keep aside on a plate.
Now in the same kadhai add the Udad dal and Chana dal and roast till it is light pink in colour.
When it is well roasted, a lovely aroma is emanated. Roasting enables the dals to get powdered easily and also roasting enables to store the masala powders for longer time. Once roasted, remove from flame and allow it to cool down. Then run it in the dry mill to a coarse powder consistency. Keep aside.
In the same kadhai, put in the sun-dried leaves, add salt and roast until they reduce in volume and loose moisture. Keep aside.
In the end roast the grated coconut until it gets a faint pink color and gives that wonderful coconut aroma. Now in the dry mill of your blender, run the roasted leaves and keep aside and then the coconut and then mix all 3. Check for salt, if required add at this stage Run once more in the blender, so the salt gets mixed well with the other ingredients. This time don’t run the blender too much, just one spin would be enough.
This should be coarse as shown in the picture not too fine. If you grind all the ingredients together and not separately as directed then you will notice that the dals don’t get powdered and if you run it too much to ensure that the dals get powdered then the mixture will be too fine and not so tasty. All the ingredients get grounded at different levels hence it has to be done separately.
Serve it with Idli, dosa, Adai or Rice and enjoy this savory powder.
This powder can be kept outside for 2 days and inside the refrigerator for 15 days. Use a clean, dry spoon always for it to have a longer shelf life.

Sunday, September 16, 2007




Believe me, I have tried various permutations and combinations from various blogs in pursuit for a change but this is by far "the bestest" recipe. 
This is also special because it is my Mother's recipe.
Amma's molagapodi was fondly called as Gun powder by my friends at school and college. 

Milagai podi is Colloquially called Molaga podi / Molaha podi. 
Molagai / Molahai / Milagai are all the same it means Chilly and Podi means powder. 
Molagapodi, when translated actually, means chilly powder, but this is not chilly powder, it has a recipe with a few ingredients, most of which are staples, usually available in Indian kitchens, chilly being "one "of the ingredients. 
This powder is usually spicy and goes well with bland dishes like Idli and Dosai. 
Molagapodi is a standard chutney powder available in most South Indian homes as a side dish for snacks.
It's handy to have this when there is no time to prepare chutneys and sambhars. 
I can't do without Molagapodi in my home. What is an Idli or a Dosai without Molagapodi.
Even if there is chutney and sambhar, I still need molagapodi, I see my daughter's following the same much is the love for molagapodi.
It's one of the staple spice powders of my kitchen, I also use it while preparing vegetables. It adds to the crispness and spice of the vegetables. 
This is my mom’s recipe of the Molagapodi. I could say my mother is one of the connoisseur’s of this powder and makes the best molagapodi in this world. She has fans all over.
When I got married and moved to Singapore, Amma would pack me a year's supply of Molagapodi  which would last me until my next visit to India, until I thought, its high time I learnt the recipe from her. 
A taste of heaven, I must say. So here’s my mother's famous recipe of the Best Molagapodi in this world right from my mother’s kitchen. 
Some make this so spicy that it cannot be consumed by the faint hearted, but, of course, my mother's recipe will not be very spicy as she doesn’t like anything too spicy, so for those who like to tantalize their taste buds, you can go ahead and increase the number of red chilies to suit your tastes. 

Udad Dal – 1 cup
Chana dal – 1cup
Red chillies – ½ cup (broken into small pieces and tightly packed)
White Sesame Seeds – ¼ cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1-2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

De-stalk the red chillies. Preferably use Kashmiri chillies as they give a strong color to the powder and aren’t so spicy. Break the red chillies into smaller pieces (to enable easier powdering). 
Heat oil in a Wok /Pan (kadhai) and fry the red chillies on a slow fire till the chillies turn plump, this also removes the raw smell (pachai vaadai) of the red chillies. 
Keep aside on a plate.
Now in the same pan, add the Udad dal and Chana dal and roast till it is light pink in colour.
When it is well roasted, a lovely aroma is emanated. 
Roasting makes the dals crisp and enables the dals to get powdered easily. It also enables to store the masala powders for longer time. 
Once roasted, remove from flame and allow to cool.
In the same Pan, roast the White sesame seeds. Sesame seeds should be roasted separately as they get roasted very fast unlike the dals, When the sesame seeds start spluttering, remove from fire and allow to cool down. Do not roast until discolored.
Grind the dals and the chillies together to a coarse powder in the dry blender / mixie, keep aside.
Grind the sesame seeds separately, Don’t grind the sesame too much as it will become oily and form lumps and the molagapodi will have the lumps in it as well. Just grind until you see that it breaks and is powdered. 
Now mix the powdered sesame seeds with the rest of the ingredients, Add Salt and Hing and mix well. 
Store in an airtight container.
This powder goes well with Idli, Dosai, Adai etc. 
It can be used as a Masala while preparing vegetables. Why my appa likes it with even Curd Rice.

Serving Instructions 
  • Take some powder on your plate, make a well and add gingelly oil and mix and enjoybelow. 
  • Molagapodi. if made in small quantities and when "fresh" tastes better than Molagapodi which is one year old. 
  • If making big batches, avoid oil in the recipe. Store in the deep freezer in airtight zip lock bags.
  • Molagapodi tastes best when mixed with Gingelly(Sesame) oil (A word of Caution: don't use any other oil, for best results it must and only be mixed with gingelly oil also known as Sesame oil or Til ka tel)
  • For those who like it spicy, you can increase the number of red chillies in the recipe. 
  • Use Kashmiri chillies as they are less spicy and give a good color to the Molagapodi
  • Do not leave unattended while roasting
  • Keep stirring while roasting for even roasting.
  • This powder can be stored for a few months, Always use a dry spoon to remove the masala powders. 

There are many variations to the the recipe of the molagapodi and different houses make it differently, 
  • Some add black sesame seeds to the podi instead of the white ones, but my grandmother used to usually avoid using black sesame seeds in cooking as it is used for Devasham/ Shraddham (prayers to the dead ancestors). 
  • Some add Garlic to the podi (Garlic Molagapodi)
  • Some add curry leaves
  • Some add tamarind 

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Sambar Powder is one of the staple Masala powders in my kitchen.
Every recipe has a story and this one is very interesting.
When I got married and moved to Singapore Amma made me a big ziplock bag full of Sambar powder. She was worried, her little baby is going to manage cooking in a country so far away. Not that I was a baby, but my mother never allowed me to cook or near the gas as she was afraid I would get burnt. I had a very protective mother or should I say overprotective🤔.
To cut the long story short, the sambar powder didn't last long as the whiff of the aroma of the Sambar made waves in the foreign land. People started visiting often requesting me to make my famous Sambar, But alas, when the sambar powder got over, I had to buy a packet from the store.
I Chose a good brand, changed brands but the taste was gone, the aroma was gone.
That made me think 🤔.
Everything was the same, the process, major of the ingredients, the only thing that changed was the sambar powder and I got desperate for Amma's Sambar powder.
I had to make it now if I needed the rave reviews that I had gotten famous for.
It was a matter of honor.
A quick call and the recipe was jotted down in my blue diary....
Sharing my Amma's secret Sambar Powder recipe, Also known as Iyer veetu Sambar powder (This is a typical Brahmin Iyer household recipe, every house has its variations).

Whole coriander seeds - 1 cup
Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal ) - 1/4 glass
Raw Rice - 11/2  tablespoons
Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds) - 11/2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds (Jeera)- 11/2 tablespoon
Black Peppercorns - 11/2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 12 -15 (Preferably Kashmiri chilly) /Red chilly powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric

I use organic dals, Sort the ingredients, check for stones if any. And you are ready.
In a wok, First dry roast the red chillies, saute for 2-3 minutes till you see the chillies starting to get plump.
Some people avoid this step but this is a must according to me, as only then will the chillies not have the pachha vaadai(Raw smell).
You can also avoid roasting red chillies and use the readymade chilly powder as per your family spice level. But I prefer to roast the red chillies for a fresher aroma.
Some people add a spoon of oil to roast the chillies, but I don't As I usually make batches that last me for about 3 months.
Dry roast the red chillies and keep aside.
In the same wok, dry roast all the other ingredients until you get an aroma of the roasted spices.
Once cool down, First, grind the dry red chillies, then the rest of the ingredients, add the turmeric powder while grinding. Blend into a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container and use as required.
I keep Sambar powder that I need for daily cooking in Glass Bottles
Since we live in Singapore which has a humid climate and I make big batches, I store the Sambar powder in Ziplock bags and freeze them.
Enjoy this simple Sambar powder Recipe and make loads of sambar and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Mangalore Rasam Powder

Mangalore Rasam Powder
Red chillies - 1 cup (broken into small pieces and tightly packed).
Dry coriander seeds - 1 cup
Chana dal - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek - 1/2 teaspoon (methi seeds)
Asafoetida (Hing) - a pea size lump or 1 teaspoon hing powder.
Curry leaves - 3 sprays.
Break the red chillies into smaller pieces (to enable easier powdering). Use the chillies along with the stalks - as the stalks also have the potency of the chillies, and also provide fibre for the body).

Heat oil in a kadhai and fry the red chillies on a slow fire till the chillies turn plump, Keep aside on a plate. Now in the same kadhai add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, fenugreek seeds and roast till light brown in colour. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves and roast for about five minutes on a slow flame.

When it is well roasted , a lovely aroma is emanated. Roasting enables the dals to get powdered easily and also roasting enables to store the masala powders for longer time. Once roasted, remove from flame and allow to cool. Grind all this together in a mixie and store in an airtight container.

This powder can be stored for a few months, Always use a dry spoon to remove the masala powders.

Sunday, May 11, 2003



Tandoori masala is a mixture of spices specifically for use with a tandoor, or clay oven, in traditional north Indian, Pakistani and Afghan cooking. The specific spices vary somewhat from one region to another, but typically include garam masala, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, and other spices and additives (e.g. lemon juice ...). The spices are often ground together with a pestle and mortar.

Tandoori masala is used extensively with meat dishes. This masala gives the meat or vegetables a pink-colored exterior and a savory flavor.
If prepared yourself, the masala can be stored in airtight jars for up to 2 months. However, nowadays, packets or canisters of tandoori masala are also readily available at major Indian supermarkets, with varying tastes depending on the brand. This convenience has led to many people buying the masala rather than making it at home.

Ground coriander - 4tspGround cumin - 3 tspGround ginger -3 tspGarlic powder - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tspPaprika Powder - 4 tspMango powder - 2 tsps
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp
Kasuri Methi powder - 1/4 tspDried Mint - 1 tspDeep red coloring - 3 tspYellow coloring - 1 tsp

Mix all the above ingredients together and store. The coriander and cumin powders must be freshly grounded. Use as required. This masala powder can be kept for months if stored in an airtight container. Almost all the powders are available in the shops. Use the powder colors for the coloring. This masala can be used for the Veg and Non veg Tandoori dishes and for Barbecue recipes. I normally use this for my Paneer Tikkas.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Garam Masala Powder

Garam Masala Powder
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
7 peppercorns
4 cloves
2 green cardamoms (elaichis)
4-5 cinnamon sticks
1 bayleaf
Roast all the ingredients in a kadhai(wok), until you get the aroma of the spices

Allow it to cool down, then grind it into a fine powder in a mixie. Allow it to cool down and store in an airtight container. You can keep this garam masala for months in an airtight container.

If you want a larger quantity of this you can increase the proportion of the above ingredients in the same ratio.

This Garam Masala can be used for North Indian dishes, gravies, and for the filling in samosas, usal, patra etc.


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