Chaat masala is a tangy Indian condiment very commonly used to spice up and add tangy flavour to fruits, salads, snacks and street foods. Here are shared some chaat masala substitutes.
Masala is a spice mix that is often kept handy and used liberally in Indian cuisine.
Some common masalas are garam masala, rasam powder, sambar powder, chole masala and chaat masala.
This post shares some chaat masala substitutes in case you can’t source the original.
What is Chaat Masala Powder?
Chaat masala powder is a delightfully sour and slightly spicy spice blend.
It can also be used to brighten up salads where it provides a tangy lift to salads like cucumber tomato salad.
Chaat masala is easy to make at home. It comes together in under 10 minutes. I am sharing the easy recipe here.
Ingredients for Chaat Masala
Chaat masala is made by using coriander seeds or cilantro, cumin seeds, peppercorn with black salt or pink salt, regular table salt, hing or asafetida and amchur powder or dry mango powder.
The ingredient chart below is missing amchur powder or dry mango powder.
I added it to the spice mix though.
How to Make Chaat Masala at Home
Making chaat masala at home is super easy and light on the pocket too.
If you are familiar with Indian spice mixes, cumin and coriander not only add an earthy flavour but are often the base of many Indian spices including garam masala and rasam powder.
All you need to do is to toast the whole spices that are cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns.
Lightly toast them till they get golden brown and fragrant. Take care not to burn them.
I use a skillet and toast them on low heat.
Allow the toasted spices to cool down and powder them in your blender.
Now add black salt or Himalayan pink salt, regular salt, hing or asafoetida, chilli powder (optional) and amchur powder or green mango powder.
Mix well and store in an airtight container.
That’s all. Your chaat masala is ready to consume.
It will keep well for 2 months in an airtight container.
5 Best Chaat Masala Substitutes
In case you are unable to make your own homemade chaat masala or source the one from store, you can use these chaat masala substitutes.
Remember that they are substitutes but not the real thing.
1. Pani puri Masala: This is a spice mix that is often used to make Indian pain puri or golgappe.
I find it very close in taste to the chaat masala.
It has a few extra ingredients like dry mint but has all the ingredients of the chaat masala.
If you have this at home, you can conveniently use this in place of chaat masala.
Only thing to watch out for is that it is saltier compared to regular chaat masala. So avoid doing a 1:1 substitution.
2. Amchur powder or green mango powder: I have found that amchur powder with pepper powder and black salt is a reasonable substitute to chaat masala.
Amchur powder is tangy and pepper provides the spicy hit.
Use them in 3:1:1 proportion or 3 parts amchur powder and 1 part each pepper powder and salt for a good chaat masala substitute.
3. Lemon juice with cumin powder, pepper and black salt: For the tang and earthy flavour, mix together cumin powder, pepper and black salt and top with sprinkling of lemon juice for replacing chaat masala.
4. Dry pomegranate powder with salt and pepper: Dry pomegranate powder that is often used when making chickpea or chole masala is tangy with a hint of sweetness.
Adding that to black salt or regular salt gives an acceptable substitute for chaat masala powder.
If you have some pepper powder, you can add that too for a spicy hit.
5. Citric acid: Citric acid crystals are concentrated lemon juice in crystal form.
You can use their powder along with pink salt, salt, pepper and cumin or coriander powder for a good substitute to chaat masala.
Remember that citric acid is concentrated lemon flavour so use very little or it will be too much.
Chaat masala v/s Garam Masala
Many people mention garam masala as a substitute for chaat masala but it is not.
It has a completely different flavour profile, as it comprises many strong whole spices that have a more robust flavour.
Garam masala also lacks the tang that is chaat masala’s signature flavour.
II have never used garam masala in place of chaat masala and would recommend that you don’t do that either.
Other substitutes mentioned above do a much better job.
1. Fruits: Chaat masala is super tangy and goes really well with cut fruits like watermelon, pineapple, papaya, kiwi or a fruit bowl. Just sprinkle a little on top and elevate the taste.
2. Salads: If you are avoiding a heavy vinaigrette, just sprinkle some chaat masala on fresh salads for a delectable taste.
3. Chaats: as the name suggests, chaat masala is perfect for sprinkling on chaat or giving them that tangy, delectable flavour.
Dahi chaat, samosa chaat, aloo Tikki chaat, pakode, all taste better with chaat masala sprinkled on top.
4. Raitas: Chaat masala tastes great when sprinkled on yogurt ratios.
5. Beverages: Indian buttermilk or chaas and Indian lemonade like masala shikanjee or masala lemonade tastes great with chaat masala added to it.
Here’s the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Chaat Masala Powder Recipe and Substitute
- 1.5 tbsp. Cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp. Coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp. Peppercorn
- ½ tsp. Hing
- ½ tsp. Chili powder optional
- 1 tsp. Black salt or Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 tbsp. Amchur powder
- Making chaat masala at home is super easy and light on the pocket too.
- If you are familiar with Indian spice mixes, cumin and coriander not only add an earthy flavour but are often the base of many Indian spices including garam masala and rasam powder.
- All you need to do is to toast the whole spices that are cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns.
- Lightly toast them till they get golden brown and fragrant. Take care not to burn them.
- I use a skillet and toast them on low heat.
- Allow the toasted spices to cool down and powder them in your blender.
- Now add Himalayan pink salt, regular salt, hing or asafoetida, chilli powder and amchur powder or green mango powder. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
- That’s all. Your chaat masala is ready to consume.
- It will keep well for 2 months in an airtight container.
2. Black salt and regular salt are both used in this recipe. Black salt provides a delicious tang to the final blend.
3. If you do not like too much heat, you can skip the chilli powder and use only pepper.
4. Cumin seeds and coriander seeds provide the body to the spice blend and earthy notes to it too.