Most North Indian street foods get their addictive taste in part from chaat masala. It’s a delicious combination of tart and spicy that helps elevate the flavor of any fruit or vegetable it’s sprinkled on. Use it simply, over cucumbers with lemon juice, or as an interesting boost of flavor on sautéed potatoes. It’s a spice blend worth keeping on hand and experimenting with over and over again.
1. Combine the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds; dried chiles; and peppercorns in a shallow, heavy pan over medium heat and dry roast the spices for 4 minutes. During the entire cooking time, shake the pan every 15 to 20 seconds to prevent the spices from burning. The mixture should be just toasted and aromatic. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Place the cooled, roasted spices in a spice grinder or a powerful blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the kala namak, amchur, ginger, and ajwain and process into a fine powder. Take your time, as this may take a few minutes. If your spice grinder is small, you may need to grind it in several small batches. Sift after grinding to refine the powder or use as is.
3. Store in an airtight (preferably glass) jar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.