Staple Corner: How to Make Your Own Chat Masala Powder ( Chaat Masala )

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Homemade Chat Masala (Chaat Masala) Powder

Chat (or chaat) masala is a very popular spice blend in northern India where it is often tossed with fruit or chickpeas to make simple "chat" snacks sold by street vendors. While there are dozens if not hundreds of recipes for chat masala, dried mango or amchoor powder and black salt are essential ingredients — these are combined with various seeds and spices to create a wonderfully hot, sour and salty mixture that is absolutely delicious with cool or tangy foods. Chat masala is a favorite of mine when sprinkled on fresh tomatoes or hard-boiled eggs, or incorporated into summer salad dressings. If you haven't tried chat masala already, you will be in for a treat.

Good pre-blended and packaged chat masalas are always available in Indian grocers, but making your own is always a preferred option for freshness and for experimenting with flavors — besides which, it only takes minutes to prepare a batch that will keep for months. This recipe comes from Yamuna Devi's indispensible treasury of authentic Indian cooking, Lord Krishna's Cuisine. Mango powder, black salt — also known as rock salt — garam masala and asafetida are also available at Indian grocers.

Homemade Chat Masala (Chaat Masala) PowderHomemade Chat Masala (Chaat Masala) Powder
Recipe by
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on September 5, 2010

A hot, sour and salty Indian spice blend that's great for serving with cool or tangy foods — sprinkle on fresh tomatoes, fruit or hard-boiled eggs, add to chickpeas, or combine with yogurt into a lovely salad dressing

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon amchoor (dried mango) powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon black rock salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dry roast the cumin and fennel seeds in a small frying pan over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the cumin seeds darken a few shades. Toss in the asafetida and stir in for a few moments. Remove from heat and grind in an electric coffee grinder until powdered. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix.

  • Store in an airtight jar away from heat and light for up to 2 months.

Makes about 1/4 cup

Other spice blends and pastes from Lisa's Kitchen you will be sure to find indispensable:
Homemade Harissa
Homemade Chana Masala Powder
Homemade Garam Masala
Homemade Sambar Masala

On the top of the reading stack: Encounterby Milan Kundera

Audio Accompaniment: Marsen Jules


Nupur said...

I am very impressed with this post- I have yet to try making my own chaat masala.

anthony stemke said...

I'm going to get some black salt an powderd mchoor and make this. My spouse loves sliced tomatoes

janet @ the taste space said...

Very nice, Lisa. I was just looking for chaat masala recipes but the one I found called for tamarind powder which I don't think I've seen (maybe I just haven't looked hard enough)... so this recipe looks great! Do you know anything about tamarind powder?

Btw, the recipe was from 1000 Indian Recipes which I just bought based on your high praise!

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Janet. You can probably find tamarind powder at an Indian grocery store. You could probably adjust the recipe and use tamarind pulp instead. Though my kitchen is overflowing with spices, I don't have tamarind powder. It is made from cleaned tamarind fruit that is deseeded. Then the pulp is shredded and dried. I gather it is popular because it is ready to use.

That's awesome that you bought 1000 Indian Recipes. Lots in there for sure :)

janet @ the taste space said...

Thanks for the info! I figured it was used because it could be added to the dry spice blend... but yeah, despite having a bunch of spices, I don't have tamarind powder either. I will have to investigate my grocer next time I visit. :)

Unknown said...

To the person looking for Tamarind powder: Just about every Mexican market (ubiquitous if you live in the American southwest, Texas to California) sells a Tamarind drink powder (sweetened but most recipes calling for Tamarind also call for honey or sugar so you can just adjust accordingly) I find it works well as a substitute for either the powder or the paste.