The first requirement of an Indian cook is to become masalchi, or spice-blender. A masala is a blend of spices; it may contain two or three, or a dozen or more. It may be added to the dish, whole or ground, at different stages of cooking. For rice and some meat dishes, whole spices are traditional; the most typical ground mixtures are the garam masalas (hot spices) used in northern cooking. A garam masala is usually added toward the end of the cooking time to draw out the flavors of the other ingredients and preserve the aromas. Indians have taken their masalas to other parts of the world where they’ve settled: Malaysia, South Africa, and the Caribbean islands. Curry powder originated in Chennai (Madras), where local cooks working for British households in the 18th century introduced Indian dishes to the newcomers.
Dhana jeera powder
This simple mixture of 4 parts coriander seeds to 1 part cumin is a typical seasoning in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and is usually used ground as the basis for masalas.