Make your own homemade Tandoori Masala at home with this easy recipe and ingredients you might already have in your pantry. Use this recipe to make Tandoori chicken, salmon, or to season roasted veggies.
What spices are in Tandoori Masala
Tandoori Masala is a seasoning mix that includes a variety of spices including paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili, and Garam Masala (another spice mix that includes warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc.)
A Tandoor is a clay oven used in Indian cooking. Masala simply means seasoning in Hindi. Tandoori flavoured dishes usually stand out because of their bright red colour.
This striking colour is often achieved by using orange or red food coloring. I am keeping this Tandoori Masala powder recipe on the natural side by relying only on the spices' natural red food colouring - especially the red from the paprika (smoked and regular) and yellow from the turmeric. It is also free from any preservatives.
How to Make Tandoori Masala at Home
As is the case with most of my ethnic recipes, I don’t claim that this Tandoori recipe is the most authentic way to make it. Many Indian seasoning mixes require to first dry roast the whole spices and seeds and then freshly grinding them at home.
I am certain this makes for an incredibly flavourful Tandoori seasoning, but in my home kitchen I just usually don't take the time to toast and grind whole spices. So instead I am using ground spices from my spice rack.
To ensure full flavours I just try to use the ground spices within 6 months or so of purchase. So if that sits better with you, let’s call this a simplified or easy Tandoori recipe.
Making this Tandoori Masala then, is as easy as this:
- Pull all the individual spice ingredient from the rack/pantry/cabinet
- Measure the ingredients into a jar or bowl
- Close the jar and shake to mix. Or use a whisk to combine the ingredients in a bowl
Done! Use the Tandoori Masala right away or store in an airtight container until later use.
Is tandoori masala spicy?
While this Tandoori Masala recipe includes some red chili powder, it is not an overly spicy seasoning mix. Chili powder is just one of many ingredients, and makes up a small amount of the mix, compared to the other spice ingredients.
Using this Tandoori spice mix will give your food a little heat, but nothing overpowering. My preschooler dislikes all spicy foods (at the moment) but she never complains when I use this Tandoori spice recipe.
How to Use Tandoori Masala Spice Mix
I love using this homemade Tandoori Masala on EVERYTHING! Aside from using in certain Indian dishes, it is a great all-purpose seasoning to give anything from veggies to protein a delicious flavour without having to pull out half of my spice rack from the shelf. Mixed with yogurt it makes an amazing marinade for poultry, seafood, or tofu.
Here are just some of the ways I’ve used it in my kitchen:
Other great homemade spice mix recipes
- Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
- Cajun Spice Mix
- Homemade Chai Spice Mix
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning
- Best Dry Rub for Ribs
- Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning
Tandoori Masala Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
- 2.5 teaspoons Garam Masala
If you don't have Garam Masala, use:
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Grind any spices that you don't have already ground in a spice mill or coffee grinder.
- Measure out all ingredients into a small bowl and stir to combine well.
- Using a funnel or small spoon fill the Tandoori masala mix into a spice jar and use in your recipes.
Pin Tandoori Masala Recipe for later?
Tandoori Masala typically includes paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili, and Garam Masala, which incorporates warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
Tandoori Masala is used as a seasoning mix for specific dishes, while Garam Masala is a spice blend used more broadly in Indian cuisine, often added towards the end of cooking for added flavor.
Tikka refers to small pieces of meat, often marinated and cooked on skewers. Tandoori, on the other hand, refers to the method of cooking in a clay oven and typically involves marinating the food in a Tandoori Masala.
Tandoori Masala offers a balanced blend of warm, earthy, and slightly spicy flavors, with hints of paprika, coriander, cumin, and other aromatic spices, contributing to its distinct taste.