The one flavor that most Indian snacks, street foods, roasted and fried food and salads rely on for their instant zing and the perk is the Chaat Masala. This particular mix of spice is an unique blend of spicy, salty and tart flavors and is usually added to the food after cooking and right before serving.
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon dried mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons salt
Dry-roast the first seven ingredients in a nonstick skillet and heat gently, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
Remove from the heat, add the salt and grind to a powder in a blender or mortar and pestle while still warm. Mix in the remaining ingredients and allow to cool. Store tightly bottled. This salty, sour chaat Masala (the approximate transaltion of the name is “finger licking”!) is sprinkled over cooked food for additional flavor.