Tandoori Masala Spice
In the United States, we commonly associate classic Indian food with Tandoori chicken. That beautiful, reddish chicken dish that is so full of flavor and wonderful aromatics is often the first thing someone eats when they are first introduced to Indian food.
This blend was made to bring that signature color, smell, and flavor to every table in the United States. It can be called Tandoori Masala, Tandoori Spice, or even Tandoori Rub. Calling it a masala just means it is a spice mixture composed of several spices. Masala is the Hindi word for spice blend.
The word Tandoori is representative of a type of cooking, not really a type of food. The Indian method of cooking over a charcoal based fire inside of a clay oven is called Tandoori cooking. The aforementioned oven is called a Tandoor. Meats cooked in the Tandoor are often coated with a yogurt and spice mixture that helps seal in juices and keep the spices in place. Tandoori Spice mixes can vary from town to town and even family to family, but there are some key ingredients including Kashmiri Chile Powder, that are necessary to make a good Tandoori Chicken.
Tandoori chicken, and its legendary spice blend, almost didn't exist at the global scale that it does today. About one hundred years ago, a man named Kundan Lal Gujral was working at a restaurant in Pakistan where he himself installed a tandoor. Though chicken had been cooked in tandoors for centuries, his was the first chicken with that instantly recognizable vibrant color and the crisp, smoky skin that is so well loved. His chicken became extremely successful across his community and continued to be for a number of years. Then in 1947, he was forced to flee his home during the Partition of India, the event where British India was split up into modern day India and Pakistan. This event caused the displacement of roughly 14 million people and created an instant refugee crisis for people across the lands as the two countries were legally separated at midnight, the early morning of August 15th, 1947. Gujral was one of those refugees. Eventually he settled again in Delhi, opening a new restaurant himself after some settling time. It was at his new restaurant where his tandoori chicken became popular at a global scale, with patrons of his restaurant including John F. Kennedy and Gandhi. His restaurant is credited with tandoori chicken's massive popularity, and without this chef who is to say this famous blend would have ever taken off with such an explosive force?
Our Tandoori is a classic masala that is hand blended from Ground Coriander, Ground Cardamom, Ground Fenugreek, Kashmiri Chile Powder, Ground Ginger, Ground Cumin, California Garlic, Indonesian Ground Nutmeg, Demerara Sugar, Konrintje Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Ground Cloves, Green Mango Powder, Ground Mace, and Turmeric.
Tandoori spice has a very distinctive, multidimensional flavor. It is savory and garlicky, yet a little bitey because of the ginger and Kashmiri chile powder.
Use our Tandoori Spice to make tandoori chicken, of course! It's also fantastic on quinoa and paneer, a thick, delicious Indian cheese. It's great on beans and in meatball recipes, as well as on roasts or for a delicious flavor boost in slow cooked soups and stews. Anything cream or cheese based also tastes fantastic with a little Tandoori spice thrown in.
Tandoori tofu is easy to make and quite delicious. Start by opening a package of firm tofu, a 15 or 16 ounce package works best, and drain any excess liquid. Dry the tofu by pressing it between two paper towels and two plates, held down by something heavy. You don't want the weight to be so heavy that it flattens the tofu, just so that it helps push some excess water out of the block. Once that's been done, after about 30 minutes, pat it dry one final time with a dish towel or a paper towel. Cut the tofu into two bite sized pieces and coat lightly with corn starch or arrowroot powder. Mix a generous tablespoon of tandoori spice with a cup of fresh, plain yogurt and coat the tofu with a thin, even spiced yogurt layer. Throw the tofu cubes on a baking sheet, covered with either a silicon baking mat or aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees until the tofu is browned, about ten minutes, and then flip the tofu. Cook for another ten minutes and then enjoy!
One of our favorite recipes that features Tandoori Spice is Tandoori Chicken Pizza.
Our spice blend is very flavorful! This will be slightly muted if you decide to use it in a yogurt mix to make tandoori chicken, but keep in mind that a little bit of this blend will go a long way. Use less than you would typically, then add more as you grow more comfortable in cooking with this blend. Food is all about experimentation and understanding your own ingredients.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*