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Chat Masala Mix - A Hot Spice Mix for Chaat
Chaat or Chat Masala

Mamta Gupta

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‘Chaat masala’ is a mix of hot and tangy spice that is used to spice up many snacks, salads, fruit salads, fruit juices, and some curries. Just sprinkle 1-2 tsp. on your fruit/vegetable salad, squeeze a little lemon juice/good vinegar like balsamic vinegar, mix thoroughly and enjoy! You can make this masala in advance and store it in a jar. Most people buy it ready made these days, sold in packets. Ready made one is quite good and very often used by professional chefs.

The word 'chaat/chat' means ‘to lick’ and the word ‘masala’ means spice in Hindi. Generally, the word chaat is used for a collection of savoury and highly spicy snacks that make you lick /smack your lips, sort of 'finger licking' good! Chaat is traditionally sold by street hawkers in India and comes under a group of foods known as 'Indian Street Foods'. As the food hygiene of street food is often suspect, frequently leading to gastroenteritis, most people prefer to make chaat at home. These days, many good restaurants in India will guarantee that their food is made hygienically and uses only mineral water in food preparation

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Ingredients

2 tbsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. whole, dry red chillies
2 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tbsp. black pepper, whole or ground. Whole gives better flavour.
2 tbsp. black salt or kala-namak. If you can't get it, use rock salt or ordinary salt
1 tbsp. ordinary table salt
1/2 tsp. citric acid powder
1 tbsp. dry mango powder/amchoor or anardana/dry pomegranate seed powder
1 tbsp. ginger powder
1 tbsp. Garam Masala
1/2 tsp. hing or hing or asafoetida powder, dry roasted on a girdle for a few minutes

Instructions

1.Dry roast cumin seeds on a griddle or tava until browned and an aroma rises; you will know when you smell it! Keep aside.
2.Lightly roast coriander seeds and keep aside.
3.Lightly roast red chillies and keep aside. Chillies burn very quickly, so be careful, keeping stirring/turning.
4.Place all ingredients in a grinder and grind to a powder. You can keep it a little coarse, if you use it mainly on fruit chaat.
5.Keep in an airtight jar.

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