YUMMY SPICE BLEND

CHAAT MASALA WEDGES SERVE UP AN IN­DIAN TASTE SEN­SA­TION

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - WORDS: VICKI TAY­LOR

Have you heard of a spice blend called chaat masala? It’s a spice blend used in Pak­istani, Bangladesh­i and In­dian food and it’s yummy!

I go through spice phases – last week it was Ba­harat, a Mid­dle Eastern spice, and this week its chaat masala.

The taste is hard to de­scribe but it packs a punch and I re­fer to the flavour, not the heat that the chilli gives.

So why is it so tasty? Well, apart from the cumin, ginger, garam masala, black pep­per and chilli, (among other spices) chaat masala con­tains asafoetida, which tastes a bit like onion when cooked, and am­chur, which is dried green mango pow­der.

It gives the spice blend a sour note, a bit like when you first taste a sour sher­bet sweet. But the in­gre­di­ent that gives chaat masala its unique flavour (in my opin­ion), is the black salt, also known as kala na­mak or black Hi­malayan salt. It tastes like eggs! So when com­bined in with other spices, you have a very pow­er­ful and yummy blend.

Chaat masala can be used in­stead of or­di­nary salt when flavour­ing a curry. Sim­ply add two tea­spoons to one kilo­gram of meat used. Chaat masala is a very sim­ple but tasty blend that matches very well with car­bo­hy­drates. Here’s a recipe that I have adapted from some of my time spent in India in the ear­lier years when I was get­ting into spices.

Chaat Masala Wedges In­gre­di­ents

6 pota­toes, halved length­wise and cut into roughly 2.5cm lengths

1 ½ ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tea­spoon chat masala

1 clove of gar­lic, minced or finely diced 2 tea­spoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 spring onions, washed and chopped finely Salt for sea­son­ing, if re­quired

Dip­ping sauce

1 cup Greek yo­ghurt

1 clove of gar­lic, minced or finely diced Salt for sea­son­ing, if re­quired

Method

Pre­heat oven to 200C.

Line a roast­ing pan with some bak­ing pa­per In a large bowl us­ing your hands, toss pota­toes Com­bine with the oil and minced gar­lic

Place pota­toes in roast­ing pan and roast, turn­ing fre­quently, for about 30 min­utes, or un­til cooked. In the mean­time, mix the minced gar­lic into the yo­ghurt, stir and add salt for sea­son­ing if re­quired

Re­move from oven and sprin­kle with chopped spring onions and lemon juice. Toss to com­bine. Sprin­kle with the chaat masala, toss again, test for sea­son­ing and serve. Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pep­per, 9/65 Bul­cock St, Caloun­dra.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTE­D

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