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I know this looks like a very long list of ingredients, but that's because most of them are optional, and you can play around to find your own favourite combination! The amounts are pretty flexible too. For this to be a truly authentic Chaat masala, you really do need to include the amchoor, asafoetida & black salt, which add a whole different dimension to the mixture. However, they can be an aquired taste (in particular the asafoetida), so use them more sparingly if you're not sure! You can get away without adding the asafoetida, but the amchoor is essential to the whole flavour; and although you can substitute ordinary salt, it isn't quite the same as black salt (which, incidentaly, is pink!). You can find all the ingredients in any indian grocers, and these days probably even some large supermarkets. This goes well with loads of things, there are several recipes on this site which use it, it adds a bit of interest to cooked veg etc, and you can even sprinkle it over fruit!
- 4 teaspoons amchoor powder (powdered dried mango)
- 3 teaspoons roasted cumin seeds, ground
- 3 teaspoons ground black salt (or ordinary salt if you can't get it)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pinch asafetida powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
- 1 teaspoon roasted coriander seed, ground (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon roasted fennel seeds or 1⁄2 teaspoon anise seed, ground (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ajwain (aka Carom/lovage/thymol seeds) (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground dried mint (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- If you haven't already, roast any whole spices (ie cumin, coriander, ajwain&/or fennel/aniseed) in a dry heavy bottomed pan for a minute or so until they give off a delicious aroma, then grind well.
- Combine all ingredients, and store in an airtight container.