Friday, May 18, 2018

Chettinad Masala

Chettinad masala is a fiery delicious blend of spices and a key ingredient in many dishes from the Chettinad Cuisine.
Chettinad Cuisine hails from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, India and is renowned for its spicy vibrant curries with complex yet perfectly balanced flavor. The fiery gravy that forms the base for these curries is made with a combination of a few fresh ingredients and several freshly ground local spices.
Chettinad masala is loaded with red chilies and coconut and earthy ingredients like cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon along with some local spices like star anise and Kalpasi flower. The distinct aroma of freshly ground spices that engulfs the air while making this blend is enough to make me drool.

I keep the spice level high in my curries. If your spice threshold is different then use a few less dry red chilies in the recipe. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days or refrigerate. Use this masala to make chicken, fish, shrimp or lamb curry. Vegetarians and vegans can use it for vegetable stir-fries or veggie curry using tofu or potato or eggplant etc.

Chettinad masala
10 dry red chilies
5 tbsp (heaped) dry shredded coconut
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 green cardamoms
5-7 cloves
2-inch cinnamon
2 Star anise
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp paprika for color
  1. Dry roast all the ingredients except paprika. I like to roast all these separately as each has a different roasting point. 
  2. Cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Place all the spices in a grinder and grind to form a coarse mixture. 
  4. Store in an airtight container for 10 days.

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