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gatam masala


(warm spice blend)


2 tbsp cardamom seeds

2 inch stick cinnamon

1 tbsp whole cumin seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp fennel seeds

10-15 cloves

1 bay leave




  • Grind all the seeds in coffee grinder.

  • Store in airtight jar away from sunlight and heat.


(makes 1/4 cup)


2 tsp roasted whole cumin seeds

1tsp dried pomegranate seeds

tsp black peppercorns

1  tbsp mango powder

pinch salt

2 tsp black salt (sanchal)

1 tsp sea salt

  • Grind into a powder all the ingredients together.

  • Store in an air-tight container.

Tip: pomegranate seeds are hard to grind, so first you may use the mortar.



(Chaat masala has a salty test. Mango powder and dried pomegranate seeds  contribute tartness while the heat from black peppercorns balances out the blend. Nutty cumin, in addition to its obvious flavor when toasted, helps the digestion.




2 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

5 cloves

seeds of 4 black cardamom pods

2 tbsp paprika

1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

tsp red chili powder


  • Preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and cardamom seeds and toast shaking the skillet every few seconds for about 1 minute, until fragrant.

  • Remove from the heat and let spices cool down.

  • Next grind to a fine powder.

  • Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients.




(makes 1/2 cup)


1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds

½ tsp tsp black peppercorns

½ tsp whole cloves

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

5 to 7 dried red Thai or cayenne chilies (to taste)

1 tsp ground turmeric

  • Place all the ingredients except the turmeric in a spice grinder and grind until the textures resembles that of finely ground black pepper.

  • Stir in the turmeric (which will give the mixture its characteristic yellow hue.

  • Store the blend in tightly sealed container.


(makes 1/2 cup)


1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp whole cloves

½ tsp cardamom seeds (from black pods)

3 cinnamon stick (each 3 inches long), broken into smaller pieces

3 fresh or dried bay leaves

  • Preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Add all the spices and the bay leaves and toast shaking the skillet every few seconds. until coriander and cumin turn reddish brown, the cloves, peppercorns and cardamom turn ash black, the cinnamon and bay leaves appear brittle and crinkly and the mixture is fragrant. (1 to 2 minutes)

  •  Immediately transfer the nutty smelling spices to plate to cool.

  • Once they are cool to the touch, place them in a spice grinder and grind until the texture resembles ground black pepper.

The ground blend will be reddish brown and the aroma will be sweet and complex very different form that of the pre-toasted and post-toasted whole spices.



cup coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp dried, split yellow chick peas

1 tbsp mustard seeds

2 tsp fenugreek seeds

5-6 dry red chilies


1 tsp peppercorns

6 curry leaves


  • Roast all ingredients together over low heat in a nonstick skillet, until fragrant (just few seconds)

  • Cool the spices and grind to a fine powder in a small coffee grinder. Store in an air tight jar.



4 oz/115 g garlic cloves, halved

4 oz/115 g fresh gingerroot, coarsely chopped

1 cup water



  • Place  the garlic cloves, the gingerroot and water in a food processor or blender and process to make a paste.

  • Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.





2  Ib red onions (cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced)


  • Preheat deep frying pan over medium heat. Pour  in the oil.

  • When the oil is hot add the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they are caramel-brown with deep purple hue (25-30 min).

  • Transfer the onions to plate to cool.

  • Pour 1 cup water into a blender jar.

  • Add the caramelized onion and puree to make a smooth paste.

  • TIP




10 red chilies

50 g (2oz) fresh ginger, finely grated

12 cloves garlic, 4 chopped and 8 thinly sliced tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

2-3  tbsp white wine vinegar

5-6 tbsp oil

225 g (8oz) onion, chopped

500 g (1 Ib) tomatoes, peeled,

cardamom seeds from 8 pods

This is a very hot spicy paste. Chilies may be used with their seeds if you like particularly fiery food.

  • grind or pound the chilies, half of the ginger, chopped garlic, fenugreek, mustard and cumin, an mix them to a paste with vinegar. Do not add any water.

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion until golden, then add the tomatoes and squash them into paste as you cook.

  • Stir in the spicy vinegar paste you already made, add remaining spices and fry until oil runs out of them.

PANEER - smooth, white cheese with a delicate flavor

4 cups milk

2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-bottom pan over low heat, then reduce the heat and let simmer gently for a few minutes.

  • Add the lemon juice, stirring constantly until the milk starts to curdle.

  • Drain the mixture through cheesecloth-lined strainer then rinse the contents of the strainer under cold running water.

  • Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth, tie them together, and squeeze gently to extract any moisture.

  • Hang the wrapped cheese for 1 hour to drain, then press under heavy weight for 2 hours.

  • Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 1 week.



2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

2 curry leaves

2 dried red chilies

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp chili powder

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsp water

½ cup vegetable oil, plus extra for sealing

  • Grind the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves and dried red chilies in a spice grinder.

  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in the turmeric, chili powder, coriander, cumin, vinegar and water to make a smooth paste.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet, add the paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes, or until all the water

  • Let cool, then spoon into a glass jar with a lid. To preserve the curry paste, heat a little more oil in a clean pan and pour it over the surface.


See also:

chutney and pickles recipes>>

Raitas recipes>>

Spiced oils and vinegars>>



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