Chettinad Masala - an essential spice blend of Chettinad cuisine, renowned for its intense flavour and aroma. Homemade curry powder made by roasting and grinding various aromatic spices.
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Delectable Chettinad cuisine from southern state Tamil Nadu is considered as one of the spicier and aromatic cuisines in India. One of the most defining aspects of this cuisine is the way spices are used in the food. Though the spices used in different dishes are all same, the aroma, flavour and the taste they provide to dish is extremely different.
2 MOST ESSENTIAL SPICES USED TO ELEVATE THE FLAVOUR
Kalpasi/black stone flower/dagad phool and Marati moggu/kapok buds are two important and unusual spices used in the Chettinad masala recipe that adds magic to the dish prepared from this spice blend and lifts the flavours from ordinary to extraordinary. These two are underrated spices that most of them tend to ignore to use in homemade spice powder. I would suggest not to skip or substitute these spices in this spicy curry powder recipe.
Check out the delicious Vegetable Chettinad recipe made using this Chettinad masala.
NECESSITY TO DRY ROAST SPICES
All the spices are dry roasted on medium-low flame until fragrant and ground to a powder. Dry roasting spices help to remove moisture and release the volatile oil that provides intense flavour to the dish. Poppy seeds help to thicken curry sauce. A perfect blend of freshly ground spice brings out the well-balanced flavours and elements of the dish to tantalise individual's taste buds.
How to store Chettinad masala?
This spicy curry powder stays good for up to 3 - 4 months in fridge. Later it loses its aroma gradually. For longer shelf-life consider storing it in freezer.
Store this homemade spicy curry powder in a clean and dry air tight container, preferably glass container.
Watch how to make Chettinad Masala
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Marathi Moggu/Kapok Buds: 2
Star Anise: 1
Black Peppercorn: 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds (optional): 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Cassia bark / Dalchini: 2 inches
Kalpasi/Black stone flower: 1 tsp/around 1 gm.
Desiccated Coconut:1 tbsp
To begin with heat shallow frying pan on medium low heat, dry roast peppercorns, red chillies, cloves, cardamom, cassia/dalchini, star anise, marathi moggu, mace for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
Now add coriander seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and roast for further 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Finally add desiccated coconut and roast for a minute and turn off the heat.
Allow the spices to cool down to room temperature and grind them to a powder.
Store this homemade curry powder in a clean and dry air tight container, preferably glass container.
Poppy seeds contribute to the thickness of the sauce/gravy, you may skip it if it's not available or if you do not like them.
Kapok buds and black stone flower are most essential spices in this recipe, do not skip them.
I have used spicy variety red chillies, increase the quantity if you are using kashmiri chillies or any mild variety chillies.
Roast spices on medium low flame, keep stirring to avoid burning of spices.
This spicy curry powder may be stored upto 3-4 months.
You may substitute desiccated coconut with coconut powder or dry coconut flakes. Alternatively, you may skip desiccated coconut in this recipe, instead add coconut powder in the sauce/gravy while cooking.
More Homemade Spice Powder recipes to try
Chettinad Masala | Spicy curry powder
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 teaspoon = 5ml
- 5 Dry Red Chillies
- 2 Marati Moggu / Kapok buds
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorn
- 2 tablespoon Poppy seeds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
- 1 Mace / Javithri
- 3 Green Cardamom
- 2 inch Cassia bark / Dalchini
- 4 Cloves
- 1 tsp (around 1 gm) Kalpasi / Black stone flower
- 1 tablespoon Desiccated Coconut
- To begin with heat shallow frying pan on medium low heat, dry roast peppercorns, red chillies, cloves, cardamom, cassia/dalchini, star anise, marathi moggu, mace for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Now add coriander seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and roast for further 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Finally add desiccated coconut and roast for a minute and turn off the heat.
- Allow the spices to cool down to room temperature and grind them to a powder.
- Store the chettinadu masala powder in a clean and dry air tight container, preferably glass container.
I made chicken curry with this masala. Was superb. My husband loved it. Although I didn't have a couple of the ingredients, it was still very good. For 1.5kg of chicken, I ground twice the amount of the ingredients!
Thank you so much for your feedback, Sonia. I'm so glad you liked this recipe.
Sasmita Sahoo Samanta
Homemade spice blends are always a hit. This recipe sounds so flavorful, Surely try
Homemade masalas are always a good option over ready-made ones. Chettinad masala sounds flavoursome and thanks for sharing it.
So true Lataji...
Homemade masala always best and I can imagine of the aroma of this freshly ground Chettinad masala.
Glad to know.
I feel as though I can actually smell the fresh fresh masala. Haven't heard of kapok buds..its a new ingredient for me. However, I'm glad I get to learn about new ingredients.
Happy to know through this post you learned about new spice. Kapok buds is an essential ingredient used in most of the karnataka and chettinad spice blends.
Love these kind of homemade spice blends the recipe sounds so flavourful have to try
I love Chettinad Cuisine.. I always keep this masala handy at home.. ..simply love adding it to some stir-frys also
Glad to know Shobhaji.
I love this masala, especially with Potatoes and Cauliflower. You explained this recipe very well. Thanks 🙂
Thanks a lot.
When do you add the black stone flower (Kalpasi)?
Toast it along with red chillies and other spices.
I love chettinad masala, so flavorful and makes anything taste delicious! Great recipe :)!