Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

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Kartha masala to Parsi khara, a guide to heirloom spice mixes which have a following throughout the nation

During final 12 months’s lockdown, the house owners of Matamaal, the Kashmiri Pandit restaurant in Gurugram, realised that folks had been craving their dishes like rogan josh and yakhni curry. “We started thinking of something that can be easily made at home,” says chef and director Nalini Sadhu, who got here up with the Rogan Josh Spice Mix — a tweaked model of a household recipe (₹150 onwards on kanzandmuhul.com). Lockdown or not, a number of others have taken a comparable route to carry household favourites to the lots. A round-up:

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Known for his or her basic chai masala (with cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise) and paratha masala, this New Delhi-based model’s USP is their heirloom contact. “Most recipes, especially for the spice blends, have been passed down to us by my paternal grandmother, who we affectionately call Ammiji. Our first launch was the chai masala [₹499] that she developed when she was a young bride in the 1940s,” says founder Amrita Chatwal, including that a a part of their manufacturing occurs in Amritsar. Ingredients are bought from a seller in Khari Baoli who sources them from plantations in Kerala and the Northeast. Details: ammijis.com

Also read: Spices 101 — chefs on where to source the best

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Five years in the past, Shelley Subawalla kickstarted the model with 4 Parsi recipes, together with the dhansak and curry masala handed down by her grandmother. “I want to make Parsi cuisine accessible,” says Subawalla, who expanded the vary with different household recipes earlier than launching the road. She supplies recipes with every masala, and says the Parsi Khara and sambar masala are bestsellers. “The latter is totally different from its South Indian namesake. It has mustard, fenugreek and a few other spices blended with oil,” she says, including that every combine is a mixture of 15-20 spices. ₹400 for 250 gm at Zarin’s Secrets (@zarinssecrets)

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Ancient elements like dakhini namak and sendha namak (now trending as Himalayan pink salt) discover place in Vasundhara Jhunjhunwala’s spice mixes. Established in 1993 by her mom, Jhunjhunwala took over in 2014. The heirloom recipes date again a number of generations — the traditional mint salt (₹150), for instance, was in “tola and masha”, the previous Indian measurement system. Their Mangalore ghee roast masala is common, and up to date launches embrace a Chettinadu masala. Details: oldfashionedgourmet.com

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Need a pandi curry in a hurry? Reach for Sakkath’s kartha (black) masala and kachampuli. Made from spices sourced from Coorg, it’s sluggish roasted and floor, with lashings of black pepper giving it its distinctive color and flavour. “Combining the masala and kachampuli imparts the dish with a lot of nutritional benefits, and also reduces how much fat [from the pork] is absorbed by the body,” says Uthappa, who began Sakkath final October.

The former copywriter perfected her masala by poring over her grandmother’s hand-written recipe books over the lockdown. “Proportions are so very important, and I’ve tweaked my recipe according to what she had jotted down, adding more coriander seeds for example, to give it more depth.” She additionally collaborates with dwelling cooks in Coorg to carry down pickles, jams and the like for her pop-ups. “I was recently introduced to a wild, flat-leaf coriander. It grows in the estates and forests, and is more fragrant than the regular herb. The home cooks also taught me to add lime leaves to pork curries, to cut out the heavy ‘meatiness’ of the dish.” ₹150 (200 g), @sakkathstuff

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

“My mother decided to start working when we were teenagers. It was then that she came up with these spice mixes. They taste so authentic, like the masalas you stone grind and slow roast,” says Hegde, former senior vp – sourcing for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein in India, who began Not Just Hot final June to create merchandise that “I missed when I was working, which could help me make quick, easy, healthy meals”.

It took a whereas to create the Mothership’s Mangalorean Spice Mix — which she says is nice for a fast ajadina (dry fry) or slow-cooked gassi (gravy), and is flexible sufficient to be utilized in vegetarian, meat and seafood dishes — as a result of “it took me years to get it out of my mother [there was no concept of measure; everything was judged by the eyes and the hand]”. Adding one other layer of particular: all of the spices are sourced from a 72-year-old lady, who farms in Karnataka’s Thirthahalli district.

Other bestsellers embrace her chilli oils, wok sauces, curry pastes, and spice rubs. Spice combine at ₹290 (190 ml), on notjusthot.com

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

When Sneha Sirivara’s family (residing far-off from dwelling) had been discovering it tough to discover good high quality masala powders, she determined to launch her personal enterprise. Initially began in her storage, the model now manufactures masalas, primarily based on household recipes, in bulk. Their bestseller is the sambar powder (₹90) made with coriander seeds, pink chillies, coconut, fenugreek, chickpeas, and cinnamon. “The molagai podi (₹70) and special filter coffee powder (₹195) are also favourites,” says Sirivara, who additionally retails snacks and lately launched a protein-rich well being combine powder with grains, millets and dry fruits (₹190). sambarstories.com

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

A number of years in the past, a cousin telephoned Antony to rave concerning the sambar she had eaten at a buddy’s marriage ceremony within the seaside city of Alappuzha. Curiosity piqued, Antony dug deeper and found that the sambar combine was made by the buddy’s mother-in-law. She tracked her down, deconstructed the proportions — “how many teaspoons is a kai pidi (handful),” she laughs — and created a spice combine that is among the bestsellers at her retailer.

Another common product is an all-purpose combine that she learnt from her aunt, Rajamma John. “She is my guru in the kitchen and this mix is so versatile that I use it in chicken and beef curries, vegetable korma and even biryani,” says Antony, who’s now making customised dry mixes (assume naadan prawns curry) for an American firm. Up subsequent, anticipate millet mixes (good for folks with diabetes and for lactating girls) and ragi flakes, in a collaboration with the FPO (Farmers Producers Organization). Sambar combine is ₹45 (100 g) and meat masala is ₹75 (100 g). To order, WhatsApp 9895316498

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Ashok Mani

Sprig, Kerala

Vanilla extract from Madagascar beans to meals colors drawn from paprika, marigold and spinach, this Kerala-based model boasts all issues pure. Ashok Mani, CEO of Intergrow (that owns Sprig) says their sauces are a bestseller. “The bhut jolokia sauce [₹349] made from ghost peppers, and our Mexican variants in Habanero, Jalapeno and Chipotle, are popular. Our processes are intricate; in Habanero, the chile mash is fermented in oakwood barrels to an optimum level before being bottled,” he says. sprig.co.in

Also read: Spices 101 — chefs on where to source the best

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

One of the few manufacturers making blended masalas for the Bengali palate, Shelly’s is common each regionally and throughout the nation. “Shelly is my mother’s name,” says Ganguly, govt director of Surji Agro Foods. “She created these recipes through years of culinary experiments and through recipes handed down to her. These are very specific masala blends [reminiscent of what I ate growing up].” With round 10 spice mixes, he’s fairly pleased with their specialities similar to shukto, doi maach and malai curry. ₹80 (100 gm) onwards, on amazon.in and bigbasket

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Three years in the past, Gangtok-based Sailesh Pradhan determined to take up a ardour challenge: making Dalle chilli paste. He began rising the fiery Dalle Khursani (which acquired the GI tag final 12 months) at his nursery, after which created a recipe for it primarily based on what he grew up consuming.

He first semi-dries the chillies earlier than including garlic, oil, salt and vinegar (the final two performing as pure preservatives). The Dragon’s Fire Red Hot Dullay Chilli Paste will be eaten as an accompaniment with a common meal of rice, dal and pork curry. “One big difference between the Dalle chilli and the Bhut Jolokia is that this chilli has a wonderful aroma,” says Pradhan. ₹200 for a 120 ml jar. Call 9832060555.

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Preeti Parekh

KT Chai Masala, Mumbai

In October 2020, founder Preeti Parekh determined to take her mother-in-law’s famed chai masala to the lots. “She used to always make it for friends and relatives, and the lockdown prompted us to go commercial,” she says, explaining that the 60-year-old recipe is a mixture of seven spices: dry ginger, clove, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace. The model – that sells anyplace between 700-1,000 packs of tea masala in a month – has lately launched tea leaves and plans to enterprise into entire spices similar to black pepper, dry ginger, and so forth. ₹125 onwards. Call 7045553322.

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Warsha Vimadalal

Sondevi, Mumbai

Spice blends primarily based on household recipes and regional mixes similar to Karnataka’s bisi bele bathtub and Uttarakhand’s pahadi aloo masala is what this model is thought for. Warsha Vimadalal began Sondevi in 2018 when she discovered that over-the-counter spice blends misplaced their perfume and texture over time. “I grew up watching my mother make blends like garam masala and sambar powder, and I added to this list with my own research. The spices are almost the same in most masalas, only the composition varies.” The USP, she provides, is that they’re hand-pounded and include zero synthetic preservatives. ₹200 for 100 gms. Call 9833671679.

Find your flavour: a guide to heirloom spice mixes

Aarti Samant

Masala Tokri, Mumbai

“India is more than butter chicken and chicken tikka,” says Aarti Samant who kickstarted the enterprise in 2019 alongside together with her mom Urmila, as they felt “that the spices category was heavily commoditised by big MNCs”. “If you go from one state to another, the curries and the blends are different. For example, the fish fry from Goa or the Awadhi biryani from Lucknow are so distinctive. These are the kinds of stories we wanted to put out,” says Samant who gives gourmand spice blends similar to Maharashtrian Goda Masala, Goan Fish Masala, Awadhi Biryani Masala, Kerala Sambar Masala, and so forth. Spices are darkish roasted at their manufacturing facility and are then despatched to pounding machines which can be designed to replicate the best way our grannies hand pounded masalas. ₹95 onwards for 100 gms on masalatokri.com

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