Masala 101: All the Basics to Start Your Spice Box Off Right

Our Moms may have made it look easy, but if you are new to cooking things can get tricky if you don’t know what the main ingredients of South Asian cooking involve.


Ajwain is strong in flavour, a little pinch goes well in tadka for green beans.

Ajowan Seeds

Jeera tastes good in so many daals and sabzis and can also be bought in a powder.

Cumin seeds

Mustard seeds can go flying once they start to pop in oil and are used in vegetable dishes and pickles.

Mustard Seeds

Turmeric is the magic potion that leaves your fingers yellow after a yummy Indian meal. A little goes a long way in giving South Asian cooking its colour and haldi as it is known, is supposed to be good for your health.

Red Chilli Powder is applied to vegetables, meats and daals depending on your spice level. Made of crushed red chilies, it is what has you reaching for more water.

Garam Masala is a blend of spices like pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and is very pungent. It goes well with rice, veggies and meats.

Start your own spice collection with the hammered copper spice tin, available at Williams Sonoma.

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  1. 135381 635423Hey there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thank you so much! 574663

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