March 5th, 2009
My Grandmother’s Spice Mixture/ Ajji’s Masala Powder
My maternal grandmother makes this special spice mixture. It was passed on to her by her mother, which was in turn passed down by her mother. Now, I’m glad to be the recipient of this recipe.
This mixture of spices is the secret that lends a unique and exotic taste to my grandmother’s cooking. It goes into the making of many of her dishes, both simple day to day cooking as well as food made for festive occasions. Her spicy, tangy and lip smacking eggplant/brinjal vegetable, huli (a soup like stew of vegetables mixed and eaten with rice), juicy potato vegetable (aloo ras bhaji), spicy and tangy eggplant rice (vangi bhath) and many other myriad dishes from her kitchen contain this special mixture of spices.
During the time when my grandfather was alive, my grandmother’s table was open to all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Relatives, friends and acquaintances always made an appearance during meal times to savour the lip-smacking goodies that she made and my grandparents never ever ate alone. My grandmother is an amazing cook and at her age of 77, she stuns me with her interest and enthusiasm in cooking. Whenever she came to visit us when we were kids, this spice mixture was the first thing she made. I’m sure she did the same when she went to visit my aunt. Grandmothers are such special people who touch our lives with genuine love and mine has fed me delicious food, taught me and answered my doubts. I feel blessed to have her in my life.
Grandmother’s Spice Mixture/Ajji’s Masala Powder Recipe
This spice mixture can be used to spice up vegetable, rice and dal preparations. The recipes using this spice mixture will be uploaded on divinetaste gradually.
1 cup Coriander Seeds
½ cup Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Black Cumin Seeds/Shahijeera
1 tsp asafetida (use the solid version, if using powder make it 2 tsp)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
½ cup curry leaves
100 gm dry red chillies (with stems removed)
1 ½ tsp cinnamon bits
1 root turmeric or 1 tbsp turmeric powder
½ cup dry coconut grated (you can use dessicated coconut) (roast dry)
½ cup Sesame Seeds (roast dry)
1 ½ tsp oil approximately.
In a medium sized wok or kadhai, dry roast the sesame seeds and the coconut separately. Heat the oil and gradually roast all the other spices individually until they become aromatic. Take care not blacken or burn the spices. You can add a little oil in between if the wok or kadhai runs dry. If using turmeric root, roast it in oil but if using turmeric powder just mix it in after all the spices are roasted. Allow the spices to cool and with the help of a mixer/grinder/food processor powder fine.
Yield: 3 Cups