An easy tandoori masala recipe for adding a smoky flavour to grilled food! This is a must-have Indian spice rub with a medley of whole and ground spices. Gluten-free, vegan and made of 100% natural ingredients.
Fancy some kebabs on skewers this summer? Rub some fragrant tandoori seasoning on your meat or veggies and see how your food takes on a whole new flavour and taste that you just won't be able to get enough of! That's the magic of the great Indian tandoori spice mix. It adds a wonderfully smoky and spicy dimension to foods, especially food broiled in the oven or skewered on a grill.
Here's an easy tandoori shrimp recipe using this special seasoning. It will have you salivating, I promise!
What's special about my tandoori masala?
- Ratanjot or Alkanet - red food colour can be substituted with the dried root of this herb. Alkanet is a herb grown in Kashmir, India and is prized for its natural ruby-red colour. It is used in dishes like rogan josh and tandoori chicken. To my delight, I found this exotic spice in my local Indian grocery! So alkanet powder is what I used while making my tandoori spice blend.
- Beetroot Powder - this is also found in Indian groceries and adds a wonderful pinkish-red hue to whatever it's added to.
- Kashmiri Red Chillies - available as whole dried chillies or in the form of a powder. While they will not add a very deep red colour to anything, they are certainly an option if nothing else is available as they are not too hot.
- Paprika - adds a wonderful reddish hue to anything, again, minus the heat.
If you cannot find alkanet, use any of the options given above. They work quite well in this recipe.
2. It is an authentic tandoori spice mix recipe.
I know, the word 'authentic' is overused but this really is the real McCoy! It has all the essential spices that make for a complex and fascinating blend of flavours.
What is tandoori masala made of? (Tandoori seasoning ingredients)
A medley of whole and powdered Indian spices that give it a distinct texture and taste. Here is the complete list -
- black cardamom
- green cardamom
Dry ground ingredients
How do you make tandoori seasoning?
Simple. Toast the dry whole spices in a shallow pan until fragrant. Let the toasted spices cool down, then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Mix in the powdered spices and your seasoning is ready to use.
Tip - Break the nutmeg into smaller pieces before toasting it.
What is the difference between garam masala and tandoori masala?
Hmm. Tandoori spice vs. garam masala. Both are certainly not interchangeable. These are the differences between the two -
- there are fewer spices in garam masala. The specific spices vary from region to region but the four basic ones are black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves and peppercorns. Ginger, garlic and colouring spices like alkanet or red chillies are never put in garam masala.
- garam masala is used in almost all Indian sauces, gravies and curries unlike tandoori masala which is mainly used in tandoori preparations.
- garam masala is used more sparingly. Usually, a quarter or half a teaspoon is enough.
How long does the tandoori spice mix last?
Since it's a dry powder, its shelf life is very long. If you store it in an airtight container in the fridge, it retains its freshness for upto six months and beyond. The fridge is not essential though. It coexists happily with your other spices in the pantry too.
- 3-4 mace flowers
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 2 nutmeg
- 4 black cardamom
- 4 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 12 green cardamom
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Dry ground ingredients
- 2 tablespoon alkanet
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- Take the whole spices in a pan and toast them on low to medium heat until they become fragrant and change colour slightly. Remove from the heat and let them cool down completely.
- Transfer the toasted spices to a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a powder.
- Mix the ground ingredients well with the above spice powder.
- Store in a clean air-tight container, preferably glass.
- While toasting the spices, keep moving them with a wooden spoon in a to and fro motion so they don't burn.
- Break the nutmeg into smaller pieces before toasting it. Wrap it in a clean cloth and smash it with a heavy object like a mallet. It will break easily on the first try.
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