Chaat Masala

Chaat Masala in a bowl

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 16 to 24 servings
  • Yield: 1 cup

Zingy, tangy, and slightly-hot, chaat masala is the perfect seasoning. It gets its distinctive flavor from the black salt used to make it. Though often used as a spice in cooking, chaat masala is mostly used as a garnish on salads, chaats (a generic name for savory Indian snacks), drinks like Indian lemonade, meals like curries and daals, etc. This recipe for chaat masala makes just under 1 cup of the masala, so multiply the ingredients if you need more.

Make sure to use your homemade chaat masala up within 2 to 3 months of making it, as the ingredients will lose their potency if stored too long. Store your masala in a glass container, in a cool, dry place. Do not store it with other spices as the ingredients in chaat masala (especially the black salt) are highly aromatic and the other spices will take on its aroma. This is a basic recipe but when you've made it a few times and as you become familiar with the ingredients and how they taste with each other, you can also experiment with other combinations of the spices (increasing some and decreasing others) to make your own custom blend! ​

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 4 tablespoons amchur powder (dried mango powder)
  • 3 tablespoons black salt powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida powder (hing)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ajwain seeds (carom seeds)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chaat Masala ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Heat a flat griddle over medium heat. Once hot, put the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds on it.

    cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds on a grill

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Dry roast the seeds until they begin to turn a little darker and give off their aromas. Stir often while roasting, to prevent the seeds from burning.

    dry roasting seeds on a grill

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove the seeds from the griddle and spread on a plate to cool.

    dry roasted seeds on a platter

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Once cool, mix the seeds with all the other ingredients in a clean, dry, coffee grinder or food processor and grind until you get a fine, smooth powder.

    seeds in a food processor

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Transfer to a glass container with a tight seal and store in a cool, dark place. Use in your favorite recipes and enjoy!

    Chaat Masala in a jar

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tip

Some of the spices go by different names in Hindi and English, and either may be used on packaging. To help you when shopping, both common names are included in the ingredient list.

More Ways to Use Chaat Masala

  • Sprinkle chaat masala on almost any green salad for an added kick.
  • Add a pinch of chaat masala to lemonade and stir to give it an instant lift.
  • Indian vegetarian dishes taste particularly good with a small garnish of chaat masala. After the dish is cooked and you have turned off the heat, sprinkle a few pinches of chaat masala over the top of the dish and cover immediately. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes and serve. Enjoy!