Saturday, April 30, 2022

Tandoori Masala

This is the perfect spice combination for the ultimate tandoori masala. It is easy to make at home and needs spices that are pantry essentials. This recipe doesn't use artificial food colors. Jazz up your tandoori veggies and paneer with this mighty, aromatic homemade tandoori masala.

Homemade masalas aka spice powders are always fantastic both in flavors and aroma. They are the magic to any flavorful dish. Be it any spice mix, when it is made fresh the flavor power is exponential. Making the powders at home is easy. You'll need a powerful spice grinder to powder. I used my dry grind Vitamix jar. You can use any spice grinder, make sure to make a fine powder.

This recipe uses some spice powders and some whole spices. All whole spices can also be used. Salt is added here but you can add in the recipe marinade too. I have added some garlic powder, but that can be omitted too. A little extra garlic always extends the flavor and the marinade will also have ginger garlic paste. Garlic powder is optional, in case you want a no onion no garlic version. I have tried that too!

To make this aromatic tandoori masala you'll need:

Coriander Seeds
Whole Black Pepper
Whole Black Cardamom
Kasoori methi - dried fenugreek aka methi leaves
Red chili powder
Kashmiri chili powder
Ginger powder
Garlic powder
Amchoor powder - powdered mango with a sour taste
Nutmeg powder

This recipe uses Kashmiri chili powder for mild heat and color. It acts as a natural food colorant. The color of the powder also depends on the chili powder you use. Food color is not added. You may if you prefer. During the pandemic times, I made this masala with spice powders that I had on my hand with whole spices and some powdered spices.  From that time this recipe is the one that is constantly used here. Whole red chilies and Kashmiri red chilies can be roasted and ground and that would enhance the deep red color of this masala. I will do that soon and update the same in the near future. 

This spice powder stores well in the freezer for 3-4 months. When you need to make tandoori paneer or any tandoori masala based food, mix the spice powder with some yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, marinate and grill them. You would be happy to make it again with this fresh homemade masala. This tandoori masala has an immense flavor and aroma that it need not be restricted to just tandoori items. Try this in a dressing like this Tandoori Ranch and this Rainbow Salad in Indian style is lip-smacking, pleasing, and satisfying one!

If you are like me and would love to make homemade spice blends, do try this fiery Kohlapuri Masala Powder. This will give ultimate flavors to vegie or paneer curry, Kohlapuri style! Simple Pepper Cumin Powder is an all purpose handy mix that can add flavor to curries like this broccoli curry or rasam. I always add this to rasam and check here to see different varieties, A-Z rasam varieties I am sharing this year and many more!

For this month's theme, we have 'Spice Powders' as suggested by Jayashree in our Shhhh Cooking Secretly group. suggested that we must make the spice powder that we buy usually in stores. I make most of my spice mixes but at times I will buy from stores too. Some of them I have in stock always for easy weeknight or special weekend preparations. During the pandemic, I tried to make my own tandoori masala as my kids are always behind me requesting the tandoori paneer tikka. 

I wanted to share this masala specifically as most of the time everywhere red food coloring is added to give the characteristic color. This recipe doesn't use any artificial food color and the color is derived from the mild Kashmiri red chilies alone. This masala will give the perfect satisfaction in flavors and you wouldn't miss what you were longing for! This is the perfect share for the fun theme.

In our Shhh Cooking Secretly group, we pair up with a partner and we give two ingredients to each other which remains secret to the rest of the members. Once we make a delicious dish, we share the picture to the group and the members of the group try to guess the secret ingredient. This month, Sasmita is my partner and she suggested me cinnamon and cloves as secret ingredients and I made this tandoori masala with those. 

I am also linking this to Share The Wealth, Sundays on Silverado, Full Plate Thursday, and Happiness is Homemade.


Coriander seeds - 1/2 cup
Cumin - 2 tbsp
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Black cardamom - 2 to 3
Cinnamon - about 3-in piece
Mace - 4
Cloves - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 2 tbsp
Kashmiri chili powder - 6 to 8 tsp
Ginger powder - 2 tbsp
Amchoor powder - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Nutmeg powder - 2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp


Dry roast the coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, whole black cardamom, whole black pepper, and mace over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until they turn a light golden color, and the aroma maximizes. Set aside to cool.

Grind these cooled spices to a fine powder in spice grinder.

Add the rest of the spice powders and blend. Sieve if necessary and blend the coarse ones again. Repeat till everything is smooth and fine.

Store in air tight container.


  1. Tandoori dishes have my heart! ❤️ Love your detailed recipe to make the tandoori masala at home. With all those spices going in, can imagine how fragrant and flavourful it would be!

  2. Such a versatile and important spice mixture to have in the pantry. I make tandoori masala at home. Love to add it to tikkas and tandoori curries.

  3. Absolutely delicious tandoori spice mix. I love this delicious recipe for making the spice mix at home.I have all the ingredients and will make some immediately. Thanks.

  4. What an eye catching bright color of the tandoori maslaa ,the essential ingredient for marination. We love the tandoori masala coated grilled paneer and baby potatoes

  5. Tandoori dishes are loved at home. This spice mix sounds so aromatic. Now, I can make the masala at home with your detailed recipe.

  6. Making a batch of tandoori masala at home, sounds brilliant ! Can imagine how flavorful amd aromatic the spice blend must have turned out.

  7. Tandoori Masala is so versatile. Can be added to a lot of dishes. Homemade masalas are always better, more aromatic. I also add beetroot powder to Tandoori Masala, which gives a nice color to the dishes.

  8. we love Tandoori kebabs or dishes a lot. Bookmarking your recipe for homemade tandoori masala , Radha!

  9. I love tandoori dishes and usually use store-bought masala powder. Now that I have a recipe in hand, I should try to make one at home.

  10. I can imagine how flavorful and aromatic the tandoori dishes will turn out after using this homemade spice blend.Absolutely delicious tandoori spice mix.

  11. So useful recipe. Tandoori masala powder also used in many other recipes. And homemade is always best. Loved your detailed recipe. I can imagine the aroma.

  12. I loved making my own tandoori masala with this recipe. Next up the tandoori ranch. That is a cool idea.

  13. We love Tandoori dishes. Home made tandoori masala is so aromatic and fresh. I love home made fresh spice powders. Your detailed recipe is so handy .-Preethi