Tandoori Masala

Tandoori masala
Tmab2003/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 10 Ounces
Ratings (15)

Tandoori masala is an Indian spice mix consisting of cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric, mace and salt. "Tandoor" refers to a type of clay oven first used in India that allows for high-heat cooking. "Masala" in Hindi -- one of the main languages spoken in India -- means "seasoning." Tandoori masala is used to flavor many Indian dishes.

You can make this spicy mix ahead of time and store it in an airtight container. Creating a tasty meal will then be a simple matter of marinating and grilling your dish.

What You'll Need

  • 100 grams cumin seeds
  • 35 grams coriander seeds
  • 20 grams cloves
  • 5 cinnamon sticks (2 inches each)
  • 20 grams ginger powder
  • 20 grams garlic powder
  • 20 grams red chili powder
  • 20 grams​ turmeric powder
  • 20 grams mace powder
  • 20 grams salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon orange food coloring

How to Make It

Make the Masala

  • Dry-roast the cumin, coriander seeds, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a pan on a low flame, until they begin to release their aroma. Remove the mixture from fire and allow it to cool.
  • Grind the ingredients in a coffee grinder to make a smooth powder.
  • Store the mixture in an airtight container for up to six to eight weeks.


  • If you do not want to use food coloring, substitute it with 20 grams of Kashmiri Red Chilies. They provide a terrific color without as much heat as other varieties of dry red chilies.
  • If you are using Kashmiri Red Chillies, omit the chili powder from the recipe.
  • Before you use the chilies, lightly toast them in a hot pan until they are aromatic, then grind them into a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.