How to Make a Balti Masala


Tandoori masala powder

Balti masala can be used in marinades and curries

The only reason I call this a ‘balti masala’ is because I learned to make a much smaller blend of spices like this the first time I made a balti curry. It tastes great in balti style curries but it can be used in any recipe calling for curry powder.

Curry powders were introduced to the UK as a way of quickly and easily making curries at home. They are still used a lot in Indian restaurants and the best are homemade. This is really just a curry powder recipe and it is so versatile.

I use this same balti masala recipe in everything from balti curries to marinades. Mix a tablespoon or so into about 200ml of well hung yogurt and you have a quick and easy tandoori marinade that works well on seafood, vegetables and meat.

If you want to try making up your own curry recipe using this balti masala, simply fry some chopped onions and perhaps a chopped bell pepper and/or diced tomatos  and then add your preferred meat, fish or vegetables. I usually use about 200g of meat per person.

Add one heaping tablespoon of balti masala paste per person and a little water or stock to cover and simmer until the meat, seafood or vegetables are cooked through.

A few years ago, my then twelve year old son brought a friend home from school and whipped up a chicken balti in just ten minutes using this balti masala. It’s easy and tasty for even the most novice of cooks.

Makes about 200g ( Or enough for 20 single servings)

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How to Make a Balti Masala and Create Many Different Dishes Quickly and Easily
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons white cumin seeds
  • 1 six inch cinnamon stick broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • The seeds of six back cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon onion seeds
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 30 dried curry leaves
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon ground garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground red chilli powder
  • Vinegar and vegetable oil
  1. Place the seeds, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns in a dry frying pan and dry fry over medium heat until the spices begin to smoke lightly. Be careful not to burn them!
  2. Place these spices along with all the leaves in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Add the rest of the ground spices and mix well.
  4. Store the powder in an air-tight container in a dark cupboard. for best results, use within three months
  5. TO USE
  6. to make a balti masala paste for use in balti curries
  7. Mix one heaping tablespoon of balti masala powder with two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of vegetable oil to form a paste.
  8. To be honest, I don't use measures when I do this at home. To cook a balti curry for four people, I take four heaping tablespoons of balti masala powered. Then I mix in a little vinegar and oil with the powder to make a paste.
  9. Stir this into your curry at the end of cooking.



Balti masala is the secret ingredient every curry lover should have on hand!


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