This spice blend is necessary to make the beloved Mumbai street food classic Pav Bhaji, a mash of vegetables served on toasted hamburger buns, but you can (and should) use this blend on all kinds of vegetables. Steam your veggies, drizzle them with Cashew Cream, and sprinkle this masala over the whole dish: Voilà! You’ll have a simple, delicious meal in no time for the whole family. Substitute this blend for Garam Masala or other spice blends in a curry to come up with your own creations.
1. Combine the coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, dried chiles, cinnamon, cassia leaves, cloves, and ajwain 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, 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. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the turmeric and amchur to the mixing bowl and whisk to combine. If you add the turmeric when grinding, it can discolor the blender jug.
4. 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.