Indian Pickle Spice Powder (Achari Masala Powder)

Achari Masala is combination of ground spices which is used to make pickles in India. India is known for its red hot and spicy pickles. Writing about it now, brings me back the nostalgic memories of summer vacations spent at my maternal grandparents home during my childhood. As a kid, I used to watch how my mother and grandmother use to cut unripe mangoes into cubes, pickle it with spicy masala powder which mainly consists of ground mustard seeds, red chilies, sesame oil and other spices, and store it in heavy wide mouthed ceramic jars to use it through out the year. Mango pickle is a delicacy of Andhra (where I was born) which is called Aavakai in Telugu and is actually centuries old culinary tradition rooted there. Now, we get different varieties of pickles in India like lemon, carrot, cauliflower, ginger and even non-vegetarian pickles made with chicken, fish and shrimp. Last time when my in-laws visited, they brought us home-made jars of chicken, fish and lemon pickle. Usually, its used as spicy dip with snacks or Indian breakfast or to spice up normal dal, roti and chaval. (rice, lentils and bread)

Inspired by this achari masala curries which are made with different vegetables or chicken or paneer became popular in India. It has spicy, tangy flavor from ground mustard and red chilies and light sweetness from ground fennel seeds. Fenugreek seeds and onion seed balance the sourness and spice. It is made by dry roasting the spices and coarsely grounding them using mortar pestle or coffee grinder. Make this masala and store for 2 to 3 months and use to spice up any curry or dals (lenthils).

achari masala powder
achari masala powder

Achari Masala Powder

Ingredients:

Black Mustard Seeds: 3 tbsp

Fennel Seeds: 3 tbsp

Dry Red Chilies: 8

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): 1 tsp

Onion Seeds(Kalonji): 2 tsp

Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp

Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp

Dry Mango Powder: 1 tbsp

Asafoetida (Hing): 1/4 tsp

Turmeric: 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  1. Dry roast mustard seeds, fennel seeds, onion seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds separately until fragrant and transfer to coffee grinder. Roast red chili until dark (Do not burn)
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend to a coarse powder

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