Making Indian spice mixes - masalas

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I made another batch of that Malvini Masala powder today - that was my favorite of those two new varieties I tried, and I used it all up!
Spices for the Malvani Masala powder, all toasted together with 2 tsp of oil. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Malvani Masala powder - spices cooked in a small amount of oil. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I also made another batch of the Chole Masala powder - something I really liked, and an Indian family I know really liked, so I ran out of that, too. I figured I'd measure all the spices out for both, toast them and cool them, and grind them, one after the other.

Here's the recipe for the
Chole Masala

Two batches of spices are cooked for this, for different times.

2 black cardamom, smashed lightly
4 large or 6 medium tejpatta (Indian bay leaf), broken up some
3" piece Sri Lankan cinnamon, broken up
12 medium or 8 large Kashmiri peppers, torn into pieces
2 Thai peppers, broken up (option)

The second batch will be cooked for less time:
4 tb coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tb shahjeera (black cumin)
3/4 tsp blades of mace
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tb cumin
1 tsp ajwain (carom)
8 whole cloves
2 tb pomegranate seeds

In about a 10" skillet, cook the first spices over medium heat for about 4-5 min., stirring and tossing until the peppers and bay leaves are browning some. Pour these onto a plate to cool, then add the second spices, and cook 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until the coriander is browning slightly, and wisps of smoke are visible, then pour onto the plate, to cool.

While cooling measure out the following powders:
1 tsp amchur (green mango)
1/2 tsp asafoetida
3/4 tsp ginger
2 tsp black salt
1 1/4 tsp salt

When the spices are cool, grind to a powder, and mix with the powders. Makes a little over 1 cup. Stores up to 2 months, more when refrigerated.
Spices for the Chole Masala powder, toasted in 2 batches. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Chole Masala powder by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Tonight I was thinking of making something Indian, but got distracted by someone, then ended up eating leftovers again. But something I did make was a batch of rasam masala - a new recipe I found, that looked really good, and different. Here's the recipe I used, and didn't change anything - I always leave these kind of things the same, and only tweak them at later times, if necessary, and usually that's just adding heat.
This looks similar to a favorite variation on sambar masala that I liked, using some oil on the spices, before toasting it in the pan over low heat. Gives a totally different flavor to the spices. Sort of a p.i.t.a. to grind, as it gets gummy, but it blends up eventually. It smells wonderful - I'll make something with it tomorrow!
All of the spices for the rasam mix, except for the whole chili peppers. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The spices for the rasam powder, toasted, and cooling. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The Byadagi chilies, toasted separately from the other spices, and cooling, before grinding. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Finished Karnataka style Rasam Powder, about 1 1/4 c. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
I made two more masalas today - one, a garam masala, since I had used almost the end of my last batch of it, when I made that butter chicken recently. The other, a biryani masala, with very similar spices, in different proportions, and some mild Kashmiri peppers added, and a small amount of turmeric. Here are the sources for the recipes, and the only change I made was on the biryani, to which I added approximately 3 stone flowers (dagad phool), which was in another good recipe I made before. The first of the two recipes here.

There's a method to my obsessive madness! Some spices roast/toast in the pans faster or slower, so I measure the similar types out into the same containers (or 2 containers, for larger amounts). Even over med-low flames, they toast fairly quickly, and at the end, I raise the heat a little, and toast the chilies, which I do with the Bayless method of pressing a couple of them down against the surface of the pan, 7 or 8 sec, then flipping them, and pressing again - my favorite way of toasting chilies.
All the spices I used in the two masalas I made today, plus a few that I didn't use. LOL by pepperhead212, on Flickr

All the spices measured out for the Biryani Masala (l), and the Garam Masala (r), 15 spices each. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

All the masala spices pan roasted, Biryani on L, and Garam on R, the ones not roasted separate. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Biryani masala, on left, with the Garam masala, just ground. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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