What is Chaat Masala? Chaat Masala is the quintessential Indian spice blend, a tangy condiment that perks up the flavours of salads, legumes, fruit, grilled fish and meats, potatoes and other vegetables. In other words it is pretty much an all purpose Indian seasoning. Curries salted with Chaat Masala will develop a deliciously authentic flavour and fragrance. Chaat Masala can be used either before or after cooking or used in place of regular salt. In India, chaat refers to both a spice blend and a salad that uses the spice blend. Indian markets sell pre-mixed chaat masalas that are quite good and ready to use. Or, make your own custom blend. We are including two recipes for chaat masala, the first is quite simple and excludes asafoetieda, Asafoetieda is a pungent spice that smells of sulfur and may be too much for western noses unaccustomed to it. If you can’t find black salt, leave it out. There is no substitute for this unusual, smoky tasting form of rock salt. Though it’s called black salt, it actually is more of a pinkish colour when pulverized. Amchur, is dried powdered mango that adds the tartness to chaat. It’s a handy ingredient for any recipe when you want to add a bit of fruity tartness without additional liquid. The second recipe shows a more extensive list of ingredients to give you some ideas on how to create your own combination. By all means play with the ingredient amounts to reach the balance of sour, salt, and piquancy that suits your personal taste.
Photo by Khurram Shehzad / Flickr user: Lekum's ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/29072273@N00/ ) / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)