Chettinad Masala | Spicy curry powder

Chettinad Masala is a spice blend made by roasting and grinding various spices.

chettinad-masala

Popularity of chettinad masala:

Marvalous and delectable chettinad cuisine from southern state Tamil Nadu has gained popularity worldwide for its intense flavour and complex blend of many well balanced flavours. It 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.

Where did I get the recipe from

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, also learned how each spice plays an important role in spice blends to get the well balanced flavours.

2 most essential spices 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 blend to a powder. Usually spices are dry roasted to remove moisture and release the volatile oil which provides intense flavour to the dish. Poppy seeds are used to get the thick 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. Here is the Chettinad masala powder recipe with step by step process shots and video:

Ingredients:

1 cup = 240ml

1 tbsp = 15ml

Dry Red Chillies: 5

Marati Moggu / Kapok buds: 2

Star Anise: 1

Black Peppercorn: 1 tbsp

Poppy seeds (optional): 2 tbsp

Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp

Fennel seeds: 1 tsp

Mace / Javithri: 1

Green Cardamom: 3

Cassia bark / Dalchini: 2 inch

Cloves: 4

Kalpasi / Black stone flower: 1 tsp/around 1 gm.

Desiccated Coconut:1 tbsp

Instructions:

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.

chettinad-masala-recipe

Allow the spices to cool down to room temperature and grind them to a powder.

chicken-chettinad-masala-recipe

Store the chettinadu masala powder in a clean and dry air tight container, preferably glass container.

chettinad-masala

Recipe Notes:

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 can 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 powder recipe
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5 from 5 votes

Chettinad Masala | Spicy curry powder

Chettinad Masala is a spice blend made by roasting and grinding various spices. Marvalous and delectable chettinad cuisine from southern state Tamil Nadu is popular worldwide.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Spice Blends
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian

Ingredients

1 cup = 240ml, 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

    Instructions

    • 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.

    Video

    Notes

    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, try not to skip them.
     
    I have used spicier 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 spice curry powder can be stored upto 3-4 months.
    You may skip desiccated coconut in this recipe, instead add coconut powder in the sauce/gravy while cooking.

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    chettinad-masala-powder-recipe

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