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Masala mixes

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Packaged spice mixes vary by ethnic types of food, and of course, personal preference.

Brands tend to to best in the regional types of foods from the regions they come, e.g. MDH brand does Punjabi style garam masala well + chickpea/chole masala. It is a company with North Indian/Delhi/Punjab roots and does the dishes from that area the best. Do not expect it to do dishes from the South, e.g. Sambar, or west, Pav bhaji masala, as well or well. Also note that its Garam masala is PUNJABI style, which is a very different creature from the many garam masalas needed for mughlai or other cooking.

Similarly, MANGAL does the foods of Mumbai/Bombay, especially the Parsi dhansak reasonably well. This is a spice powder package.

PARAMPARA is alleged to do the dishes of GOA & Malabar [on the west coast of India] well. Its packaged & pre-cooked spices/onion etc. are extremely convenient, but leave me not entirely satisfied. Others are very happy. All you add is coconut milk, either frozen, fresh, or from a can.

KITCHENS OF INDIA is selling a retort pack of curry sauce of various types. Their North Indian formulations that I have taste, paneer & spinach etc. are reasonably good for this type of product.

There are bottled curry sauces in several brands: MOST of these are made with the BRITISH CURRY HOUSE taste in mind, which is a genre on its own, e.g. chicken korma. You can experiment according to your taste.

My choices:

Biryani: 1. LAZIZA [ Pakistan]


other spice mixes from this brand excellent, qorma etc. Avoid those that have dyes in them. This company was penalized in UK some years ago for using Sudan 3, a dye employed needlessly to color meats red in many Asian foods. This practice now has stopped. The fault lay NOT with the company but the consumer, for wanting absurd hues in their food. BRIGHT VERMILION CHICKEN: WHY??

2nd choice: NATIONAL brand, Pakistan.

I avoid Shan, Pakistan; others like it!! YMMV.


Parsi Dhansak: MANGAL brand, India.

Sambar Powder: 777 brand; same for RASAM POWDER.

Mysore Sambar, with cinnamon: MTR brand

Punjabi Garam Masala: MDH brand

Chaat Masala: MDH or Laxmi brands

Chole or Chana [chickpea] spice: MDH, Laxmi

Tamarind concentrate, warm brown paste in GLASS [ NOT plastic] jar: Laxmi brand

Asafetida: LG brand

Coconut oil for cooking Kerala veg. dishes: PARACHUTE [blue bottle].

Deep Foods and its other brands, Udipi etc. very good for frozen cooked foods, sweets, snacks.

Roopak brand spices are supposed to be good, never tried them.

These are the more common brands available in the trade. Let me know if you need any clarifications or how to use them. Especially, simplify the biryani instructions and you will get a supremely better dish.


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  • 9 months later...

u can make a fish curry.

fish approx 1 kg

onions pureed.. 2 medium

tumeric powder 1+1 tsp

red chillie pdr according to taste

cumin seeds 1 tsp

green chillie whole dedseeded 1-2

tomatoes chopped 4-5 medium

tomoto puree 1 table sp

ginger/ garlic puree 1 tsp each

chopped corriander 1 handful


oil 4 table spoons

coconut milk 1 tin

Washfish and rub with a little tunmeric and set aside for an hour.

Rinse fish and set aside.

In a deep pan put pureed onions and oil and cook till golden brown.Add cumin seeds and cook a few mins then add the chopped tomaotes. tomato puree, ginger and garlic paste 1 tsp tumeric, red chillie pdr green chillie and salt and cook on LOW heat till oil rises to the top.

Add coconut milk and approx 2 cups of water and cook on low heat for about 30-45 mins or till oil rises to the top.

Lightly fry the fish and add to the gravy mixture. cover and simmer for 20 mins or till fish is done.

add chopped corriander leaves and serve with plain white rice.

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