Maharashtrian masala don’t just define the flavour of Maharashtra but also the mood of the people and region these masalas come from. Every masala is a delightful blend and mixture of the whole spices used. Such a fine symphony of spice blends, unique to every family, gets created only after fine tuning it over years and decades. In olden days every family or community had their version of masalas prepared by the ladies of the household in the sultry months of summer. Every spice was sun-dried and hand-pounded to get that perfect-tasting masala, which was stored in air-tight containers and used for the rest of the year. To get just the right blend of spices, whole spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, star anise etc. were carefully mixed in specific proportions.
The Variety of Maharashtrian Masala
Each Maharashtrian masala has its own special combination of spices that give rise to its particular flavour profile; some may have a sour undertone while others more sweet or spicy depending on how much chilli powder and other spices are added to them.
Every Marathi spice box is filled with one of the following masalas and is used both for special occasions and for everyday food preparations.
Aazol tells you the tale of these masalas with a recipe which could be a traditional one or a modern interpretation for you to try.
Kala Masala: Maharashtra’s Special Garam Masala
Aazol's Kala Masala is a classic, aromatic blend of spices from the western region of Maharashtra. Carefully roasted to perfection and boasting an intense hue that gives it its name, this Maharashtra’s garam masala is guaranteed to enhance any veggie-based dish or curry you prepare.
Kala Masala Black Gram Grilled Kebab
- Mix boiled channa, grated potato, and other ingredients except for semolina and oil.
- Mix well and shape them into kebabs.
- Roll into semolina and shallow fry them on a hot tawa with oil.
- Serve with fresh green chutney.
Goda Masala: Fragrant Vegetarian Masala
Aazol's Goda Masala is a subtle blend of spices with a unique, mild sweet aftertaste that'll leave you pleasantly surprised. Goda masala uses range from scrumptious vegetarian dishes to becoming one of the state’s most famous exports - this masala is an absolute must-have in your kitchen pantry.
Goda Masala Drumstick Gravy
- In a frying pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add asafoetida, whole red chillies & curry leaves.
- Add drumsticks, and fry them for 2 mins.
- Add chilli powder, coriander powder, goda masala, and turmeric powder, fry them well.
- Add water and let it cook till the drumsticks are done.
- Garnish with fresh coriander.
To watch the recipe video click here
Koli Masala: Seafood Masala
Aazol's Koli Masala is known for its vibrant flavour, which is created by a beloved member of this fisherfolk community. With over two dozen spices and an age-old family recipe, this Maharashtrian masala will add zest to any dish - be it fish or meat!
Koli Masala Harissa Chicken
- Flame roast a red capsicum to soften and get a bit of char, once cooled, remove skin & seeds, dice them.
- In a mixture jar, add the roasted capsicum, and remaining Harissa Paste ingredients including Aazol’s Koli Masala.
- Marinate the chicken legs in this paste. Grill them well on pan with medium high heat.
- Make sure the chicken is well grilled on all sides.
- Add remaining paste and potatoes and cook them well.
- Once done, garnish it with olies, cherry tomatoes, and lemon juice.
Bottle Masala: Premium East Indian Masala
Experience the rich flavors of East Indian cooking with Aazol's Bottle Masala! This premium blend is made from a secret recipe that has been passed down through generations. With 28 spices, it will add an authentic and unmistakable flavour to any traditional dish or spice up your daily meals.
Mutton Lonvas with Bottle Masala
- Pressure cook mutton with salt, ginger and water for 3 to 4 whistles.
- In a kadai, heat ghee add garlic, Bottle masala, saute them well.
- Add chopped pieces of bottle gourd, saute, afterwhich add pepper, tamarind pulp, cooked mutton, mix well and let it simmer.
- Add coconut milk, and let it simmer while stirring. Serve hot.
To watch the recipe video click here
Ghati Masala: Spicy Vegetarian Masala
Aazol's Ghati Masala is a great addition to your culinary world. This potent red chilli blend hails from the beautiful Western Ghats and will bring any dish to life. Create a tantalizing curry or khichdi, perk up some veggies - even add zing to Vada Pav. The possibilities are endless – get ready for an exciting journey of flavour exploration!
- Deep fry cubed potatoes and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, mix oil, Ghati masala, lemon juice gently. Let it marinate for some time.
- In a frying pan, heat oil and add dry red chillies, jeera, onion, saute well. Add garlic paste, tomato and let it saute.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder,coriander powder, mix well. Add the fried potato cubes, salt and marinated paneer.
- Cook well, and serve it with a garnish on coriander leaves.
Agri Masala: Fiery Seafood Masala
Crafted by the Agri fisherfolk of Palghar, Raigad and Thane comes Aazol's unique spice blend - 'Agri Masala'! Perfect for any seafood dish to give it an extra layer of flavour, this all-weather masala will delight your taste buds with its fiery flavour. Agri masala powder ingredients are sourced locally too.
- Clean the jawla in water and drain.
- In a bowl, combine onions, chillies, coriander, garlic, turmeric powder, lemon juice, Aazol Agri Masala, gram flour, rice flour and salt to taste. Add kolambi and mix again.
- Make round, flat patties and shallow fry in oil using a non-stick pan until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve hot.
To watch the recipe video click here
Malvani Masala: Coastal Chicken Masala
Aazol's Malvani Masala can transport you to the tropical shores of Konkan! Packed with a punchy mix of spice and pepper, it'll bring any meal alive - from classic Kombdi Vade (Konkani chicken curry) to your own creative culinary creations.
Malvani Veg Korma
- In a mixie jar, add grated coconut, turmeric powder, Aazol Malvani Masala & water, blend well.
- In kadai, heat oil and fry papaya, raw banana and sweet potato, add cooked toor dal & mix.
- Add Malvani Masala paste, mix and add Aazol Kokum Agal &Kaakvi: Liquid Jaggery, salt to taste. Mix well and cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
- In a smaller tadka pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and asafoetida, once the seeds splutter, pour the tadka over the Korma.
- Serve it with a garnish of fresh coriander.
The traditional art form of making Maharashtrian masala has evolved over time yet remains unchanged at its core - still requiring patience and skillful mixing together of various whole spices by hand before grinding them into a fine concoction ready for storing in airtight containers for later use throughout the year. There are innumerable varieties available each one with its own distinct flavour profile ranging from the sweet goda masalas to the spicy ones. So next time you buy yourself some Maharashtrian masala, remember that behind every blend lies a centuries old tradition waiting to be uncovered, tasted and enjoyed!
Author: Jinal Aidasani