WEDGES WITH EXOTIC TWIST
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GREAT SPICE MIX TO TRANSFORM A TRADITIONAL SIDE DISH
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.