Ran Out Of Chaat Masala? 5 Spice Mixes Can Be Your Alternatives

Indian cuisine is popular all over the world for its rich flavour and impeccable taste. Be it snacks, meals, or desserts, each of them has a separate fan base. Our food is loved so much due to the use of a vast variety of ingredients. Another reason for its popularity is the use of spices. Though foreigners may be shocked when they taste Indian food for the first time, it's addictive for sure. We combine plenty of spices together and grind them into powder for adding to our savoury dishes. Those powders are commonly known as masalas.

We have different types of masalas, and each of them has a unique combination. One of its most popular types is the classic chaat masala. From simple fruit salad to spicy street foods like aloo tikki, it adds an irresistible aroma and flavour to all kinds of savoury dishes. Chaat masala usually consists of black salt, dry mango powder, asafoetida, cumin, coriander, red chilli, carrom, and black peppercorn. But what do you do when you are in the middle of cooking and the chaat masala jar is empty?

Here are the five closest substitutes for chaat masala you can use in your dish:

Garam Masala

This is one of the most common types of masalas that can be found in the kitchen cupboard. Just like chaat masala, it is also prepared with a blend of spices like cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, and black pepper. Though the composition is not the same, the ingredients are very similar. You can add some salt or black salt to enhance its flavour. If used as a substitute, add garam masala and some lemon juice, tamarind, or dry mango powder while cooking for tangy results. It may not be the best option for seasoning once the food is cooked. You can use it in a ratio of 1:2 (garam masala: chaat masala) for curries, chaats, bhurjis, etc.

Curry Powder

Just like chaat masala, curry powder is also made with a wide range of spices and ingredients that give it a complex flavour. You can use curry powder in all dishes as a substitute for chaat masala. The correct ratio to replace chaat masala with curry powder is 1:1. Usually curry powder mixes include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli powder, ginger, and more. It only lacks mango powder and salt, so it can give a very close flavour. You can mix mango powder and salt with curry powder to improve its taste. 

Tikka Masala

This aromatic and pungent spice mix contains ingredients like black pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and red chilli powder. Just like curry powder, it also lacks mango powder, so you can add some if you have it in your kitchen or simply add a dash of lime juice for a tangy taste. Tikka masala has a strong flavour; therefore, add it slowly to the dish. Just like garam masala, it is better to add it in the middle of cooking instead of sprinkling it at the end. The ratio of tikka masala and chaat masala must be 1:3.

Harissa Powder

This spice blend made with cumin, coriander, mint, and chilli peppers is comparatively stronger and spicier than chaat masala. It has an aromatic and garlicky flavour that can really enhance the taste of your dish, but use it wisely. You can also add a dash of lemon juice to give it a tangy touch, like chaat masala. Unlike garam masala, harissa powder can also be used at the end of cooking.

Lemon Juice Spice Mix

This is the simplest yet ideal alternative to chaat masala. If you don’t want to use any other spice mix, add lemon juice with some black salt. Black salt is an important ingredient in chaat masala, so the flavour can be very similar. Add a few drops of lemon juice to balance the flavour. If you have any other spices on your kitchen counter, like cumin, coriander, or red chilli, you can also use them with this spice mix.