WEDGES WITH EX­OTIC TWIST

NEVER UN­DER­ES­TI­MATE THE POWER OF A GREAT SPICE MIX TO TRANS­FORM A TRA­DI­TIONAL SIDE DISH

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

The spice blend chaat masala is be­com­ing more pop­u­lar, prob­a­bly with the in­flu­ence of cook­ing shows. It is used in Pak­istani, Bangladesh­i and In­dian food, and trust me, it’s so yummy! I go through spice phases – last week it was Ba­harat, a Mid­dle East­ern spice and this week I’m back on the chaat masala.

The taste is hard to de­scribe but it packs a punch of flavour but it’s dif­fer­ent to heat that the chillis give. 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 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.

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