A masala means a spice mix. The most commonly used spices in Indian cuisine, cumin, corriander, black pepper, cardomom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves, are commonly mixed and ground and used to finish many dishes.
A small coffee grinder, used just for spices, turns whole spices into fresh powders right in your kitchen. Grinding the whole spices releases an explosion of flavor, especially if the spices are toasted first. Often toasting is done to dry out damp spices, but sometimes toasting really brings out the flavor, such as with toasted cumin seeds.
Optionally, in pan on medium heat, toast cumin seeds lightly, 3 min. Remove from heat and let cool. Measure whole spices into spice grinder, close lid, and grind for 10-30 seconds. Pour freshly ground powder mix into measuring cup, or using funnel pour directly into empty spice jar.
Ground powder keeps at least a couple of weeks.
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