Homemade Durban Masala

Homemade Durban Masala

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This Homemade Durban Masala was my little creation for my online store. I experimented a little until I got that perfect mix. Although I didn’t enjoy the online store and all those goes into it. One thing I am satisfied with is the fact that I got to try out new things. My Homemade Durban Masala did sell very well and everyone that purchased it told me it was amazing.

Recently I chatted to the owner of a very popular chain of spice stores. I must say I wasn’t surprised by what he told me but disgusted nevertheless. He told me that a lot of spice stores add salt to their masala mix. The reason they do this is obviously to bulk up their masala and sell more. It is the reality of things. There are business owners that are so consumed by greed that they would compromise on quality.

After my chat I swore I am never buying masala again. I would rather take some time, roast and grind my own spices. At least that way I know all my ingredients are fresh and I know exactly what goes into it. Trust me it is not difficult to make your own masala.

You can also store your masala for a month in an airtight container in a cool place. If you make your masala in bulk you can freeze it for up to 6 months. I have in the past stored my masala in the freezer and it I’ve had no problems.

You don’t have to do all the work, that goes into making the masala, at once. You can roast and grind the spices ahead of time. That way when you ready to make your masala it doesn’t become a tediuos task.

I created this masala, especially, for those that struggle with adding the right balance of spices to their curries. This Homemade Durban Masala works perfectly well on it’s own, without the added spices. You can however, add some whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, star aniseed, black cardamom) for that added flavour.

As you make your own masala you can try and balance the flavours the way you like it. You can add less cumin, more coriander, some crushed cloves…whatever works for your palate. There’s no hard and fast rule in terms of making a masala.

Have you ever been to a spice bar and watched those aunties mix your masala…haha! I have never seen them measure anything. They just dump a little of everything into a bag and that’s their art of masala making.

So please don’t let those masala snobs tell you there’s a fixed recipe. Some spice shops do have a strict recipe they use, if pre-packed, just so they can keep all their masalas the same.

From time to time I change my masala, I love adding more spices to it or reduce something that I don’t think works anymore. Play around until you perfect that Masala. One day you could be selling your own mix.

Some Recipes to try using this Masala:

Durban Lamb Curry

Spicy Durban Chicken Curry

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Durban Masala

Homemade masala with freshly ground spices made the Durban way
Course Condiment
Cuisine Indian
Keyword durban masala, homemade masala
Prep Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500 gram chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup/25g ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup/25g ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground fennel/soomph
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tspn ground cardamom
  • 1 tspn ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Roast all your seeds separately in a pan
  • Grind them individually, using a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar
  • Add all the spices to a large bowl and mix well

Notes

  1. You can use any chilli powder you prefer
  2. I used a local chilli powder called "Rustenberg Chilli Powder" or the regular Osmans Extra Special Chilli Powder from the stores is perfect too
  3. You can also use some Paprika or Kashmiri Chilli Powder to your regular chilli powder to add to the red colouring
  4.  You can add dry curry leaves and bay leaf, ground star aniseed and cloves to the masala if you prefer. 

 

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Lallie Pillay

    5 stars
    Dearest Lorraine

    I found a pot of gold when i came across your spice page.
    I have been battling to get good masala in Cape Town and buying online did not help.
    Iam now excited to use your recipe.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Lallie, so glad you stumbled upon my blog. Homemade masala is really not difficult to make you can play around with the spices and see what works for you. Some people prefer more chilli powder and less of the other spices if you want a hot masala. Good luck:-)

  2. Catherine

    Hi Lorraine,
    Can you use already ground spices or is it better to buy the seeds and roast them yourself?
    Thank you in advance.
    Catherine

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Catherine! You can use the ready ground spices but it’s not as nice and fragrant as roasting and grinding the seeds yourself. I much prefer roasting my own seeds and grinding them. Good luck:-)

  3. Catherine

    Thank you Lorraine. I’m in NZ and have to make my own curry powder. My sister brought me some Furban Masala and I am oh so grateful, but it will run out at some stage so will have to make my own. I made your sweetcorn and cheese samosas today. Yet to try them.l – haven’t fried them yet. I froze them for when I need them.

    1. Lorraine

      You can play around with the amounts of spices you add to the chilli powder Catherine. Everybody has different preferences so sometimes you may need less of something and more of another. You will eventually find what works for you. Hope the samoosas are great, thank you for trying them. Take Care:-)

  4. Catherine

    OMG! Those corn and cheese samosas were delicious! I added some ginger and crushed red chillies as I didn’t have fresh green chillies. Would’ve been better with the green chillies of course, but was still amazing!!!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Catherine. Happy to hear that. It’s one of my family’s favourite samoosas so I’m glad you also loved it. Take Care:-)

  5. Bryan Shepstone

    Hi Lorraine,
    I am an ordinary Saffer, Jhb based but grew up in a Natal family. It always drives me mad when I look for the perfect curry recipe and I get to the part where it says ‘add masala’ and I always think ‘well that is the whole recipe!’ So thanks for putting me out of my misery and teaching me how to make real Durban masala! 😁😎

    1. Lorraine

      You most welcome Bryan! Glad you finally found a recipe. Please note that it is a recipe that can be tweaked to your taste. I created it so that if you don’t want to add a whole variety of spices to your curry then this masala will work perfectly fine on it’s own. Happy Cooking:-)

  6. Preshni Palthas

    I knew what went into a masala mix but I wanted an idea about the quantities. This worked really well.
    Thank you Lorraine 🙂

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Preshni. Glad my recipe helped:-)

  7. Edward

    5 stars
    Dear Lorraine, Thank you for sharing your love of cuisine with us. I live in New Zealand Like Catherine and it is difficult to come by our spices the way we know if from South Africa. Just like Lallie Pillay, we found your blog to be to be a Pot of Gold! This masala recipe is just what the doctor ordered! Thank you.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Edward. I am so happy to hear that. There are not many authentic South African Recipes on google so I’m glad that I can share some of mine. Take Care:-)

  8. Catherine

    Exactly Edward and so much more expensive.
    I’m making a batch of this amazing curry powder and am going to sell it here in NZ. Let’s see what they think.

    1. Lorraine

      Good luck Catherine:-)

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