Malabar Masala

  • Serves

    makes 2 1/2 cups


This mixture of coriander, cumin, cloves, mustard seeds, and eleven other spices is wonderful sprinkled on grilled fish, dal, stews, and curries, or as an added seasoning in the spicy Indian snack known as hot mix. This recipe first appeared as part of the digital edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue.


  • 14 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 13 cup curry leaf powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric


Step 1

Heat a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Cook coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, cloves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, star anise, and cinnamon sticks until fragrant and toasted, 3-4 minutes. Add coconut, fenugreek leaves, and chile flakes; cook until coconut is golden, 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a spice grinder along with curry leaf powder, ginger, turmeric; grind into a powder. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months.

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