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- What about Southern Masalas?
What about Southern Masalas?
South Indian cuisine also uses a variety of spice blends or masalas, but they are different from the garam masala used in Northern Indian cuisine. Here are some examples of South Indian masalas or spice blends used – and their usage varies and can be quite different than how garam masala is used in other cuisines:
Sambar powder – A mix of spices used with lentils:
This is a spice blend used to make sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew that is a staple in South Indian cuisine.
The blend typically includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, dried red chilies, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves.
Sambar powder varies from region to region, and can be made with different proportions of these ingredients. This blend of spices comes to life only when it’s added to cooked yellow lentils or toor dal and a medley of seasonal vegetables.
This dish is a daily staple is usually a part of breakfast (served with Idli, Dosa, Vada, Pongal etc.) and lunch (with rice of course) in most South Indian states like – Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Click here to try some sambar or sambhar powder (try the MTR brand they are famous) and here for yellow lentils or toor dal. If you just want to get a mix with the sambhar powder and some lentils in it – check this out.
Rasam Powder – a mix of spices for tomato or tamarind:
This is a spice blend used to make rasam, a tangy South Indian soup like preparation (and eaten with rice) that is often served as a palate cleanser between courses. The blend typically includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, dried red chilies, mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves.
Rasam powder can also vary from region to region. Rasam is made with either boiling a lot of tomatoes or some tamarind paste (pulp removed) to add the tanginess after the rasam powder is added and sauted. (The mix packets will have instructions)
Check out these Mixes. (try the MTR can’t go wrong with them)
And there are more of course. We are not done yet 🙂
Bisi bele bath powder – a mix for spicy lentil rice:
Bath is not a place in the UK or somewhere to bathe – bath means rice in Kannada (Spoken in Karnataka) and Marathi (Spoken in Maharashtra) Now you know the word for rice in two languages.
And Bisi is hot since it’s served hot, and Bele means lentils – both words are from Kannada.
This is a spice blend used to make bisi bele bath, a rice dish that is popular in Karnataka. The blend typically includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, and dry red chilies.
The masala or powdered mix needs to be added to yellow lentils (after the lentils are cooked) and then this spicy mix is added to hot steaming rice and mixed.
Chettinadu masala – A mix of spices from chettinad:
This is a spice blend used in Chettinadu cuisine, which comes from the Chettinadu region of Tamil Nadu. It typically includes dried red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and star anise. Chettinadu masala is known for its spicy and aromatic flavor.
These are just a few examples of the many different spice blends used in South Indian cuisine. The exact blend of spices used can vary depending on the region and the cook, but they are all important for adding flavor and complexity to South Indian dishes.