From Garam Masala to Chaat Masala – A Guide to Different Types of Masalas and Their Uses (2024)

Home / From Garam Masala to Chaat Masala – A Guide to Different Types of Masalas and Their Uses

From Garam Masala to Chaat Masala – A Guide to Different Types of Masalas and Their Uses (1)From Garam Masala to Chaat Masala – A Guide to Different Types of Masalas and Their Uses (2)

Jul 04th 2023

India has been a spice hub for thousands of years, which became a crucial factor for international trade even then. As time and our taste buds evolved, there are several masalas today. Read here about different regional masalas of India and why you should purchase from Suhana Masala!

What Is Masala Made Of?

Key components of masalas include whole and ground spices like pepper, coriander, star anise, red chillies, and cloves. These also have aromatic ingredients like cardamom and cumin. These differ according to region.

Common Types of Masalas

  • Garam masala

    Garam masala adds aroma and flavour to your gravies and sabzis, made for rotis and parathas. You can grind garam masala with cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

  • Curry masala

    Curry masala can be prepared with turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper, which can be added to tawa fried vegetables, paneer, and mushroom, usually spicier than other recipes.

  • Tandoori masala

    Tandoori masalas can be added to gravies, kebabs and parathas made of coriander, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, cloves, mace, fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg.

  • Biriyani masala

    Not all biriyanis require biriyani masala. However, you can add it to enhance the flavour, especially for mushrooms, chicken and mutton biriyanis. You can prepare it with fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black peppers, bay leaves, nutmeg, mace flower, black cardamom, green cardamom, and coriander seeds.

  • Rasam and sambar powder

    Rasam and sambar are a staple in Tamil and South Indian cuisine, which use lentils, tomatoes and other vegetables with a tangy taste. Sambar powder uses red chillies, coriander, toor, chana and urad dal with fenugreek and black pepper. While rasam powder is made of coriander seeds, toor dal, cumin seeds, black pepper and red chilli.

  • Chai masala

    Chai masala is made with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, and fennel. You can add this masala to the tea powder of your preference and add sugar to taste to make your evenings wonderful.

Regional Variations Of Masalas

  • Kashmiri –

    The Kashmiri masala is made of Himalayan rock salt, the co*ckscomb flower, saffron, and the common Kashmiri red chillies and cumin.

  • Maharashtrian –

    Goda masala is the most found in the Maharashtra belt, made of black stone flowers, cumin seeds, pepper, cloves, bay leaf, carrom seeds and asafoetida.

  • Tamil powders –

    The two famous masala powders from Tamil Nadu are for making sambar and rasam, which commonly have coriander seeds, red chillies, and fenugreek.

  • Hyderabadi masalas –

    Andhra’s famous black chilli powder, or gun powder, is made of raw garlic, tamarind and coriander seeds, used for dosas and idlis with sesame oil to enhance the taste.

  • Bengali –

    Bhaja masala with a coarsely-grounded blend of roasted cumin, coriander, fennel, bay leaves and dried red chillies. This is used in mango pickles and traditional Bengali fish curries.

  • Konkani –

    Cafreal masala’s famous all over Goa and can be used to coat chicken or mutton. It’s made of coriander leaves, spring onions, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, green chillies, cumin, ginger and garlic. They also add red chilli powder, turmeric, jaggery and salt.

How To Use Masalas in Cooking

Spices should be ground and blended with spices, which can be coarse or fine, according to your taste. You can have coarse coriander and pepper powder but ensure other spice powders are finely ground.

  • Marinating with masalas

    We are adding endless veg and non-veg options here for tandoori for chicken, mutton, paneer, and cauliflower. Food bloggers and many others are marinating vegetables and meat in chilli, garam, coriander powder, oil, and salt to make the biriyani spicy and bring a tandoori flavour to the vegetables and meat used.

  • Using masalas in curry

    Remember when several English shows and movies call our gravies and vegetable palyas curry? They are right since many like their curries to be spicy and tangy. Garam masala, red chilli powder and pepper powder are used in making any curry.

  • Incorporating masalas in rice dishes

    Garam masala is widely used in vegetables, mushrooms, chicken and other biriyanis to enhance the flavour. Additionally, Kashmiri red chilli powder or regular chilli powder are added for colour and taste, respectively.

  • Adding masalas to snacks and street food

    When you hear Mumbai, Delhi, or any place in India, street food immediately comes to mind. Vada pav, dabeli, pakoras, frankies, or anything, you will get street food garnished with chaat masala, dry mango powder and garam masala. It’s these masalas that make the street food yummy!

Tips For Storing and Preserving Masalas

  1. Choose the right containers

    The shelf life of different masalas differs, and to extend it, the first step is to choose opaque, airtight jars. Be it glass, metal or mason jars; if there is no air inside the jars, your masalas will be good for months.

  2. Avoid using wet spoons

    Never use a wet spoon to remove the masalas. Moisture’s the worst enemy of masalas. When wet spoons are kept in the containers, it can smell foul, or you may find tiny lumps in the jars.

  3. Store it in the refrigerator

    If you have got masalas in large quantities, the refrigerator’s the best place to store these. However, you can always leave these outside before adding them to your dishes to make them taste better.

Health Benefits of Masalas

Indian masalas not only enhance the taste of various dishes, but these ingredients help a little in weight loss, digestion and the rest of the processes that help your body function well.

  1. Has anti-inflammatory properties

    Our spices, like red pepper, bay leaf, black pepper, and nutmeg, have high anti-inflammatory properties. These reduce inflammation for those who have rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and asthma.

  2. Rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients

    Most of the Indian masalas have cereals and pulses, which are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium, as well as folate and carotene. These help in the proper functioning of your body by maintaining fluid levels and other vital roles in secretion and energy absorption.

  3. Boosting metabolism and promoting weight loss

    Daily ingredients such as garlic, fenugreek, red pepper, turmeric, and ginger are effective cholesterol-lowering agents. Several other spices have anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and heart-healthy properties, which can increase the metabolism rate and make people brisker.

Exploring New Flavors: Experimenting with Masalas

  1. Creating custom masala blends

    Custom masala blends are made by mixing different masalas of various brands. Each masala can have minute differences, but your gravy or parathas can be flavourful like never!

  2. Adapting masalas to different cuisines

    If you or your family loves a delightful twist for their lunch or dinner, you can always add the Indian masalas to whatever international dish you are trying!
    Suhana Masala’s been in the market since 1962 and is found worldwide, serving customers with more than 25 types of masalas. Visit our website to delight your friends and family with wonderful Indian gravies and other recipes.


  1. What is the difference between garam masala and chaat masala?

    The garam masala spice mix uses warm spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, etc.; chaat masala is a mix of different spices and dry mango powder.
    Garam masala is used to enhance the aroma and flavour of the dish and is mainly added to curries, while chat masala is added to enhance the dish’s flavour only and make them tangier. You can sprinkle on chaats like Bhel puri, masala puri and fruits.

  2. Can I substitute one masala for another in a recipe?

    You can substitute one masala for another, but there might be differences in taste. You can stock up on Suhana masalas, as you can find one for Shahi paneer, palak paneer, mutton fry and more.

  3. Are masalas spicy?

    Not all masalas are spicy. However, the spice level depends on your preference. Certain masalas need more spice, especially when you prepare chicken tikka or masala.

  4. Can I make my masalas at home?

    You can make masalas at home, but the downside of this process is you won’t know when your masalas might become stale. Suhana Masala is a great option to try, and convenient to use. You can store it in a jar or refrigerate it, for a longer shelf life.

  5. Where can I buy authentic masalas?

    You can buy authentic masalas from Suhana, which has no preservatives. You can find a variety of gravy, tikka and tawa masalas on our website.

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From Garam Masala to Chaat Masala – A Guide to Different Types of Masalas and Their Uses (2024)


How is chaat masala different from garam masala? ›

Garam masala is used to enhance the aroma and flavour of the dish and is mainly added to curries, while chat masala is added to enhance the dish's flavour only and make them tangier. You can sprinkle on chaats like Bhel puri, masala puri and fruits.

What's the difference between masala and garam masala? ›

It's at once utterly confusing and incredibly simple. Masala means mixture of spices. So, a mixture of warming spices roasted and then ground down to a fine powder is a Garam Masala. A mixture of spices that are slightly tart and perfect paired with chickpeas roasted and ground down is a Chana Masala.

What is chaat masala used for? ›

Chaat masala, also spelled chat masala, is a powdered spice mix, or masala, originating from the Indian subcontinent, typically used to add flavor to chaat. It typically consists of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, dried ginger, salt (often black salt), black pepper, asafoetida, and chili powder.

Are there different types of garam masala? ›

Indian garam masalas vary from region to region, from cook to cook. Despite having the same ingredients for the most part, each masala powder is unique, bringing individual tastes and flavour profiles to the dishes it blends into due to a different set of spices.

Can garam masala be eaten raw? ›

For the best application of garam masala, it needs to be cooked (i.e., this is not the spice blend to sprinkle raw over cucumbers or dips). Begin by sautéing it with your aromatics at the start of cooking, add it midway to perfume the entire stew or braise, or do both.

What is the best substitute for chaat masala? ›

Chaat Masala Substitute

If a recipe calls for chaat masala and you don't have any on hand, try adding dry mango powder, dried pomegranate powder, or black salt if you have them. Depending on the recipe, you can probably get away with using garam masala in place of it (Example: Aloo ki Tikki).

What to use garam masala for? ›

How to Use It. You can use garam masala in many different ways. I love adding it to a marinade for chicken or fish, mixing it into a curry paste, or blending it with yogurt as a dipping sauce. If you're making a dal, curry, or soup, add the garam masala during the simmering step toward the end of cooking.

Can you add garam masala at the end of cooking? ›

Dev Biswal explains: 'Generally, it's better to add garam masala at the end of the cooking process, as it works on an aromatic level, raising the whole nature of the dish. ' So stir a little into your curry just before serving to release all those fresh, vibrant aromas.

Is tandoori masala the same as garam masala? ›

Garam masala and tandoori masala are both made with almost the same mix of spices, but tandoori masala is less spicy than garam masala. Kashmiri Red chilies make tandoori masala less spicy and a better colour. Of course, the taste changes depending on how much and which spices are used.

What are the disadvantages of chaat masala? ›

Chaat masala

According to Dr Dhir, chaat masala and other such seasoning masalas often come with a high content of salt. The sodium in salt can impact the kidneys and lead to water retention in our bodies. This extra stored water raises BP and puts a strain on kidneys, arteries, heart, and brain.

What goes well with chaat masala? ›

Amchur (dried green mango powder), salt and chilli powder give the blend its characteristic tangy, salty, spicy zing. Uses: Sprinkle over salads or chaat (fried snacks) or use in place of salt on your chips. Also delicious on fruit - try a pinch on mango or pineapple.

Is chaat masala good for blood pressure? ›

“When it comes to hypertension patients, there is nothing specific to avoid except salt, amchur powder (dried masala powder), chaat masala, preserved and processed food, pickles, papads and ready to eat/ready to cook packaged food owing to their refined flour, sugar, and saturated fats content.

Which masala is best for daily use? ›

Best everyday masalas for Indian kitchens
  • Haldi Powder.
  • Dhania Powder.
  • Lal Mirch Powder.
  • Chat Masala.
  • Lal Mirch Kutti.
  • Garam Masala Powder.
  • Kasoori Methi.
  • Jeera Powder.
Jul 19, 2022

What is chaat masala vs garam masala? ›

The two masalas have entirely different flavor profiles. They use different whole spices. Garam masala consists of earthy, warm spices. Chaat masala is a blend of spices that give sour, tangy, and tart flavors.

Which spice is not used in garam masala? ›

Saffron is a spice but not used in garam masala. Black salt is an ingredient of garam masala but it is not a spice as it is not from plants.

What is the closest thing to garam masala? ›

3 Common Substitutes for Garam Masala
  • Curry powder: Use curry powder as a substitute, swapping garam masala entirely in your recipe. ...
  • Allspice and Cumin: Combine 4 parts ground cumin with 1 part allspice, for an easy substitute when you're in a hurry.
  • Chaat Masala: Try using chaat masala as a substitute.
Mar 18, 2024

Is chaat masala healthy or not? ›

Is chaat masala unhealthy? No, Chaat masala is not unhealthy. The chaat masala contains healthy ingredients containing plenty of vitamins, proteins, and nutrients. However, using over-stored ingredients may lead to several troubles.

Is chaat masala the same as chana masala? ›

Short answer is this chaat masala is a perfect spice blend for making chana masala. Near as I can tell the difference between chole and chana masala is regional and of course there are so many variations of the two all of which are similar.

Can I use sumac instead of chaat masala? ›

In this recipe, I have substituted the chaat masala with sumac powder and I can say that I am not going back. This was a good call. Sumac is a popular spice used in Middle Eastern cooking.

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