Goda Masala: The Maharashtrian Spice Blend You Need To Know

Like most regional cuisines in India that rely on spice blends to add depth of flavour to recipes, Maharashtrian cooking is further enriched by a widely used variety known as goda masala. Made with a wide array of spices such as dry red chillies, cinnamon, star anise and lesser-known ones such as black stone flower (patthar ke phool) and cassia buds, the robust spice mix has a slightly sweet or goad, aftertaste – from where it derives its name.

As is the case with variations in spice blends, the composition of the goda masala changes its proportions of spices from region to region, in the state. The spice mix is near in identity to the popular garam masala, which is used across the country for cooking. Mostly found as an ingredient used in Marathi Brahmin recipes such as amti, bharli vangi (stuffed brinjal) and vangi bhaat, the goda masala has a distinct perfume and is slightly pungent in flavour. A typical process to make the goda masala includes roasting the spices in some oil, until they release their natural oils and become darker in colour.

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Adding a small quantity to a dish, pack plenty of flavour and aroma, and pairs particularly well with spicy meat curries that Maharashtra is known for. Goda masala also uses local souring agents like kokum for an added tanginess – an element that is not usual for most other Indian spice mixes. Traditionally, goda masala is made in large batches where the spices are measured in kilograms, before they are painstakingly roasted and ground coarsely. It also possesses many surprising health benefits such as aiding digestion, relieving sleeplessness and curing common flu.