East Indian Bottle Masala Recipe - Easy Recipe With Only 28 Ingredients
Bottle Masala Recipe – Homemade East Indian Bottle Masala – This unique masala is a complex blend of selected spices that East Indians make every summer, a ritual that can still be seen in a suburb like Bandra.
Most East Indian Masala recipes are as secretive as garam masala recipes are in North India. They are typical to every community or even households.
Who are East Indians?
East Indians are a small community with origins from the coastline areas of Mumbai like Gorai, Vasai, Versova, Bandra, Colaba, Thane and Mazgaon.
East Indians or East Indian Catholics, are an ethnoreligious Indian Christian community who are members of the Catholic Church. Their cultural and culinary traditions are an eclectic blend of Goan, Portuguese, Indian and British influences.
Bombay’s growth, in the 19th century, was good news for the local Christians, who were well-positioned to work with the British rulers.
But they were less than pleased to find that the city’s prosperity started attracting Goan Christians, who were soon competing for the same jobs.
To differentiate themselves the locals decided to adopt a new name and the name they chose was East Indians, after the British East India Company.
What is Bottle Masala?
This East Indian masala is a red spice powder born out of many spices. These spices are all sun-dried, roasted, pounded and bottled together.
How many spices are there in Bottle Masala?
The estimate varies depending on who you ask since it is typical to families. The actual number can go anywhere from 25 to 30 to 60 ingredients. The recipe below has a total count of 28 spices.
This spice-mix recipe is an authentic East-Indian spice mix similar to a curry powder but not garam masala. Each and every family has its own special blend and the recipe is passed on mouth-to-ear from generation to generation.
However, the family matriarchs refuse to share the recipe(s) with anyone outside the family. And, every family has their own blend of masala which is kept as a closely guarded secret.
East Indian Bottle Masala
Beer Bottles & Bottle Masala
The “Bottle Masala” name comes from the storing of the spice mixture in amber or green-coloured beer bottles.
These beer bottles are made of dark glass, so light doesn’t cause the spice powder to deteriorate, their long-necked shape makes them convenient for gripping and shaking into a pan and there’s never any shortage of them around.
How do I store Bottle Masala?
You can store the east Indian masala into an airtight container or bottles. For a longer life shelf store it in your fridge & should last up to a year. But it is better to use it earlier to prevent the loss of flavour, potency and taste.
What are the uses of Bottle Masala?
The cuisine of the East Indian community in Mumbai remains distinct from the rest of the city. Bottle masala is the key flavour used in most East Indian dishes. The bottle or Shisha Masala imparts a subtle and unique flavour to every dish.
It can be used for both vegetarian & non-vegetarian recipes. So, use it to flavour meats, chicken, fish, vegetables, pulses (eg. chole).
Recipes Using East Indian Bottle Masala
How to make East Indian Bottle Masala from scratch at home?
East Indian Bottle Masala Recipe, How to make homemade East Indian Bottle Masala
- 250 grams Kashmir Chillies Kashmiri Mirch
- 25 grams Reshampati Chillies Reshampatti Mirch
- 25 grams "Goa" Chillies Goa Mirch
- 100 grams Coriander seeds Dhania
- 20 grams Cumin seeds Jeera
- 20 grams Black Peppercorns Kali Mirch
- 20 grams Wheat Gehu
- 40 grams Sesame seeds Til
- 40 grams Poppy seeds Khus khus
- 40 grams Mustard seeds Rai
- 40 grams Chick Peas Chana dal
- 6 inches Cinnamon sticks Dal Chini
- 7 piece Cardamom Elaichi
- 12 piece Cloves Laung
- 30 grams Turmeric Haldi
- 1 teaspoon Asafoetida Hing
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg Jaiphal
- 1 teaspoon Mace Javitri
- 1 teaspoon Mugwort Maipatri
- 1 teaspoon Cobra Saffron Seeds Nagkesar
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan Peppercorns tirphal
- 1 teaspoon Allspice Kababchini
- 1 teaspoon Star anise Bhadyan
- 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds Saunf
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds Methi seeds
- 1 teaspoon Bay leaves Sambharpan
- 1 teaspoon Stone Flower Dagarphul
- 1 teaspoon Black Cumin Shahi Jeera
- Dry all the ingredients under hot sun consecutively for 2 days. Alternatively, you can dry roast the ingredients in a hot pan until you smell their fragrance.
- If dry roasting, start with chillies by discarding their stems and breaking them into two parts.
- Put a wide frying pan on low flame & gently roast until their skin darkens slightly. Keep stirring continuously.
- Similarly, roast the rest of the ingredients for 7-8 mins on low heat or until they are very fragrant and aromatic. Keep stirring in between.
- The ingredients with quantities of 1 teaspoon (each) can be roasted together.
- Let all the roasted ingredients cool to room temperature before moving to the next step.
- Put all the ingredients in a dry spice grinder and run the machine until the spices are finely powdered.
- Sieve and repeat this procedure with the thicker pieces remaining in the sieve.
- Allow the ground mixture to cool and store in a sterilised airtight bottle or container.
- Store it away from heat and sunlight preferably in the refrigerator.
- This recipe yields about 700 gms of Bottle Masala - probably the most complex spice blend in India or maybe the world.
- Roast the ingredients in a heavy bottom frying pan on low heat to avoid burning.
- Ingredients can be roasted in an electric oven as well.
- Ideally, the grinding of the spices should be done in a manual pounding mill, however, if speed is of essence you can opt for a dry grinder.
FINALLY, TO SUM IT UP
Bottle Masala Recipe – Homemade East Indian Masala – The spice-mix also known as shisha masala is a special blend of selected spices that East Indians make every summer, a ritual that can still be seen in a suburb like Bandra.
Most East Indian spice-mix recipes are as secretive as garam masala recipes are in North India. They are typical to every community or even households.
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