Thursday, February 13, 2014

Roasted Spice Mix - Maa-er Bhaja Masala

We Bengalees are very familiar with roasted spice mix or "bhaja masala". We use it to spice up almost any chotpota snacks as well as use it in regular cooking. I like the way it enhances the flavor, specially the strong aroma it oozes once roasted perfectly. On those lazy days it is a handy solution that adds a different dimension to many simple dishes.
My mom used bhaja masala in many of her dishes as in chutney, niramis alur dum, ghugni, vegetable chop and so on. The recipe below is from my mom, her special ingredient was celery seed and dry red chillies.

Cumin seed (Jeera) - 3 Tbsp
Coriander seed (Dhone) - 2 Tbsp
Fennel seed (Mouri) - 1 Tbsp
Celery seed (Radhuni) - 1 Tsp
Black peppercorn - 1 Tsp
Dry red chili - 1
Bayleaf - 1

Dry roast all the spices together on a tawa or pan in a low flame until it turns brownish in color and gives a nice aroma. Be careful not to burn spices.
Let it cool down to room temperature. Dry grind into powder and store in a cool dry place.

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