Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Premade Spice mixes


Monica Bhide
 Share

Recommended Posts

HI all - by popular demand I am starting this thread on premade spice mixes and other almost from scratch items in Indian cooking that we all use successfully. Please use this thread to post recommendations and how be sure to talk a bit about how you use the products.

(This is not a discussion thread but more of a information one can use thread)

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to get back after asking my folks home love :biggrin:

I have not ever thought of it sincerely :angry::rolleyes:

may be a week before I get across back and forth.. maybe my mother in law will allow it for this web blog atleast :sad: sincerely

Im hazarding one guess at the rasam powdered spice : Use this for while preparing and to finish in tarka too, it tasted infinitely better than store bought ones I have tried(can't remember which ones I've tried but in general they are not as authentic as the one Im using at home) so here goes:

dry toasting of these in a low heat in a wok or a big kadai : cumin, black peppercorns(Whole), coriander seeds that all

grind in a spice mill all of these together after sufficiently coolong off..

I m going to try this and report back ( can't get enough courage to phone my mil for this sorry)..

Edited by Geetha (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taken a liking to everest brand jal jeera masala. I stir it into Santa Cruz brand lemonade (usually available from health food stores) . It is very mildly sweet. Add a little crushed mint. Its good. Failing the lemonade I just use water and frsh lemon or lime juice.

Has anyone tried MDH brand? What do you think?

Edward

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father sometimes resorts to commercial Garam Masala, but it contains more of the cheap spices and less of the more expensive ones. He likes to use it in cooking for my brother, though, because my brother likes cumin and coriander seed but hates cinammon, cloves, and cardamom. The rest of us like it all (except that my parents dislike cilantro).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father sometimes resorts to commercial Garam Masala, but it contains more of the cheap spices and less of the more expensive ones. He likes to use it in cooking for my brother, though, because my brother likes cumin and coriander seed but hates cinammon, cloves, and cardamom. The rest of us like it all (except that my parents dislike cilantro).

What brand does your father use?

This is one spice blend where commercial products never quite suit my taste. I do use Rajah brand. I like the fact that it comes in a air-sealed container with reusable lid. It has very mild flavor and is not too cumin-corianderish.

I want to try as many brands as possible. My students may enjoy learning to make it in classes, but I know they probably won't at home. I like to be able to recommend good store-bought products.

I don't like to use too much powdered garam masala anyway (prefer the subtlety of the whole spices), it gives me heartburn!! For instance, if I am cooking from a recipe and it says 2 teaspoons I will use about 1/2 a teaspoon, maybe less.

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father sometimes resorts to commercial Garam Masala, but it contains more of the cheap spices and less of the more expensive ones. He likes to use it in cooking for my brother, though, because my brother likes cumin and coriander seed but hates cinammon, cloves, and cardamom. The rest of us like it all (except that my parents dislike cilantro).

What brand does your father use?

I don't remember, Edward. Whatever I got in my local Bangladeshi store, probably. :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I adore Trinidadian ground spices, especially roasted geera (the spelling on the label of the Chief brand) and use them in all sorts of dishes, Western, Mexican, Indian, etc. They have a wonderful rich aroma. I haven't seen roasted ground spices sold in Indian food stores.

My husband uses only certain brands curry powder sold in Chinese g rocery stores to make the old fashioned English-style curries he remembers from childhood. He says those sold in Indian stores don't work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried MDH brand? What do you think?

I love the MDH kesoor methi but hate the garam masala. The Rajah brand garam masala is slightly better but still way too stingy with the cardamom.

I don't like to use too much powdered garam masala anyway (prefer the subtlety of the whole spices), it gives me heartburn!!  For instance, if I am cooking from a recipe and it says 2 teaspoons I will use about 1/2 a teaspoon, maybe less.

2 teaspoons?! :shock: Either those are some huge recipes you're working with or it's time to start looking at some new cookbooks. That sounds like some serious garam masala abuse to me :) Kudos to you (and your consitution) for finding a more sensible path.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i use (usually mdh brand) chhole masala (i cannot dream of

mixing all those spices individually myself);

also pao bhaji masala;

jal jeera masala;

garam masala;

tandoori masala;

and funnily enough, MTR rasam powder.

someone recently recommended "kitchen king masala"

as a grilled paneer + veg marinade and i am waiting to try that.

i make my own sambar podi, BBH mix, puliyogare mix etc.

milagai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried MDH brand? What do you think?

I love the MDH kesoor methi but hate the garam masala. The Rajah brand garam masala is slightly better but still way too stingy with the cardamom.

I don't like to use too much powdered garam masala anyway (prefer the subtlety of the whole spices), it gives me heartburn!!  For instance, if I am cooking from a recipe and it says 2 teaspoons I will use about 1/2 a teaspoon, maybe less.

2 teaspoons?! :shock: Either those are some huge recipes you're working with or it's time to start looking at some new cookbooks. That sounds like some serious garam masala abuse to me :) Kudos to you (and your consitution) for finding a more sensible path.

Usually when a recipe I am using calls for that much it is for the roasted Punjabi-style, which has a lot more cumin and coriander. It is also usually for meat or chicken.

I sometimes make a rajma that requires 1 tablespoon of garam masala, but it is mixed with water and other masalas like chili powder and hing and slowly fried in ghee until fragrant. In this case its not too much since it is the main flavoring.

I recently bought the Whole Foods brand of garam masala. I have always avoided trying it because it is $4.29 a bottle(eek!), but I am teaching a course soon where the timings don't really allow me to teach it from scratch (besides, I know most people who just want to cook Indian ocassionaly won't want to make it anyway) so I am trying as many store-bought versions as possible.

The Whole Foods brand was not particularly high on the "cardamom scale" as you might say, but it was very good. I was surprised by how fresh it smelled and tasted. I would definitely reccomend it. And it comes in a small bottle so it will be used up before it goes bad. I always tell people that if they have to buy pre-ground spices to spend the extra money and buy the small bottles from Mccormick Gourmet or Spice Islands. They will be fresh and get used up quickly. The packages of ground spices at the Indian stores are way to big for most people to use up fast enough.

Edited by Edward (log)

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
i like the penzey's blends.  perhaps not as authentic, but extremely fresh.  if i'm not going to toast, roast, and grind my own, they'd better be fresh.

I like the Penzey's blends too, but just out of sheer laziness. I don't find them to taste much like any Indian food I am familiar with, but it works in chicken salad and to give "oompfh" to non-Indian dishes.

I don't have an Indian grocer nearby, so I tend to rely on Patak's jarred seasonings. I like the biryani paste, and usually have a jar of it on hand. I haven't made biryani with it, but I like to rub it on pork tenderloin or leg of lamb before I roast it. Mmmmm!

Kathy

Minxeats
http://www.foodloversguidetobaltimore.com/'>Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

I have used the Maggi brand pastes with good results. I made chicken tikka masala last weekend for my family using the paste, and they loved it.

I also like the shaan brand.

What about some of the brands of frozen foods? I have not tried them yet.

Edited by Lone Star (log)

If you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen - Calpurnia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Recently tried Laziza brand Plum Chutney mix. The box comes with a packet containing spices and sugar and another with dried plums. Following the package instructions made good results. It was really very tasty, especially after maturing in the fridge for a day. I would definitely use it again. Next I am going to try their Instant Haleem Mix.........

Edward

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I use "East End's Garam Masala" which is a whole lot of whole spices mixed to perfection, and it tastes and smells so much. Really really good. I ground the spices in an old coffe bean grinder. It really gets that special smell out of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Yesterday, I used the Shan brand Chaat Masala to make a dish that included onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, and garbanzos. The recipe was based on a Spanish potaje, which is why it has celery, but the end result tasted very Indian, and I did like the spice mix. This was the first time I tried the boxed spice mixes, and I was very pleased with the flavor. I've used Rani brand Garam Masala to make Chana Masala, but it would have been better if I had mixed the spices myself.

I'm not sure where to get Fenugreek leaves, and when I made Chana Masala, I substituted Fenugreek seeds, but I don't think the flavor is the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Yesterday, I used the Shan brand Chaat Masala to make a dish that included onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, and garbanzos.  The recipe was based on a Spanish potaje, which is why it has celery, but the end result tasted very Indian, and I did like the spice mix.  This was the first time I tried the boxed spice mixes, and I was very pleased with the flavor.  I've used Rani brand Garam Masala to make Chana Masala, but it would have been better if I had mixed the spices myself.

I'm not sure where to get Fenugreek leaves, and when I made Chana Masala, I substituted Fenugreek seeds, but I don't think the flavor is the same.

LarsTheo,

Dry Fenugreek leaves are easily available in Indian grocery stores offline or online. Ask for MDH Kasoori Methi. Check out Monica's blog that she hosted in late April. She has a very good methi patato recipe which uses these leaves and she has a photograph also of the box. You can check the blog here

Shan has very good spices, especially their pre-made mixes for meat dishes, like keema curry and rogan josh. For chat masala, I prefer the MDH Chunky chat masala, much tangier and less spicy than Shan.

Cheers!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know if anyone's posted about Auroro Creations. I just bought some for my health food store today. A lovely women started packaging spice mixes to send to her son when he was in college in Michigan. Now their blends are sold in Whole Foods and health food stores in the NY-NJ area.

Being a nutritionist, I love the implications for disease prevention with many Indian spices, i.e. turmeric as a potent anti-inflammatory in part responsible for low Alzheimer rates in India.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
I have taken a liking to everest brand jal jeera masala. I stir it into Santa Cruz brand lemonade (usually available from health food stores) . It is very mildly sweet. Add a little crushed mint. Its good. Failing the lemonade I just use water and frsh lemon or lime juice.

Has anyone tried MDH brand? What do you think?

Edward

Mdh has a stronger flavor and is spicier. Badshah is really good. Perfect flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...