Chettinad Masala – an essential spice blend of Chettinad cuisine, renowned for its intense flavour and aroma. Spice blend made by roasting and grinding various spices.
Popularity of chettinad masala
Marvalous and delectable chettinad cuisine from southern state Tamil Nadu has gained popularity. 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.
Being a restaurateur I got a chance to closely watch how the chef’s design the menu, handle the administrative tasks, manages other employees and most importantly how they prepare food to meet the specifications of the guests, how well they make adjustments to food items to accommodate guests with allergies or specific diet concerns. One of the most popular and best selling dishes in our restaurant is vegetable/prawn/chicken chettinad. The flavourful and tasty chettinad curry never fails to impress customers. I got chettinad masala powder recipe from one of our chefs, I did learn how each spice plays an important role in spice blends to get the well balanced flavours.
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 chettinad masala recipe that adds magic to this culinary preparation and lifts the flavours of dish from ordinary to extra ordinary. These two are underrated spices that most of them tend to ignore to use in spice blends. Even though they are not available in most of the regular grocery stores here is UK and it is an extra work to find and get used to them. Your taste buds are sure to thank you for bringing a dish with new and unique flavours to the table!!!
Necessity to dry roast spices
All the spices are dry roasted until fragrant and ground to a powder. Dry roasting spices helps to remove moisture and release the volatile oil that provides intense flavour to the dish. Poppy seeds helps to thicken sauce/gravy. A perfect blend of freshly ground spice brings out the well-balanced flavours and elements of the dish to tantalise individuals taste buds.
This authentic and freshly ground chettinad masala powder is far better than store-bought ones. I always make spice blends such as chettinad masala, biryani masala, sambar masala, bisi bele bath powder at home.
Check out delicious vegetable chettinad recipe made using this chettinad masala.
How to make chettinad masala
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml
Star Anise: 1
Black Peppercorn: 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds (optional): 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Cassia bark / Dalchini: 2 inch
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 the chettinadu masala 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 red chillies, increase the quantity if you are using kashmiri chillies or any mild variety of red chillies.
Roast spices on medium low flame, keep stirring to avoid burning of spices.
You may substitute desiccated coconut with coconut powder or dry coconut flakes.
This spicy curry powder may be stored upto 3-4 months.
You may skip desiccated coconut in this recipe, instead add coconut powder in the sauce/gravy while cooking.
Chettinad Masala | Spicy curry powder
1 cup = 250ml, 1 tbsp = 15ml
Gluten free, Nut free, Vegan
- 5 Dry Red Chillies
- 2 Marati Moggu / Kapok buds
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 tbsp Black Peppercorn
- 2 tbsp Poppy seeds (optional)
- 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp 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 tbsp 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.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this spicy curry. I love to get feedback from readers.