Balti Masala: The Versatile Spice Blend You Need to Try

What if you could explore different global flavors without ever leaving home?

With a range of internationally-inspired spices, like balti masala, it is easier than ever.

This mix of herbs and spices may be new to your palate but will tantalize your taste buds in bold, flavorful ways. Balti masala has deep origins rooted in its namesake cuisine, Balti.

In this article, you’ll learn about the ingredients that make up balti masala seasoning and how to use it in the kitchen!

We’ll explore its unique taste profile, discover its many culinary applications, provide instructions on making your blend at home, and discuss potential substitutes for those who don’t have access to this unique spice mix.

Spice up your cooking today by getting acquainted with balti masala!

What is Balti Masala?

Balti masala spice mix

Balti masala is an essential ingredient in any kitchen cupboard. This versatile spice blend works well in various dishes, from curries to stir-fries and soups. It’s coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, ginger, onion powder, and fennel.

Depending on the recipe you’re making and your desired heat level, you can also add chili powder for a spicy kick.

Balti masala is an incredibly versatile spice mix that can add flavor to almost any dish.

Whether you’re making a traditional Indian curry or something more creative, like a Thai-style stir fry with balti masala as the base flavor profile – this spice blend will elevate your cooking!

The flavors are warm and earthy but also slightly sweet due to the addition of paprika and fennel.

To get the most out of this beautiful spice blend, it’s best to toast it in some oil before adding it to your dish for maximum flavor.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add depth and complexity to your cooking without buying multiple spices separately – then balti masala should be added to your kitchen cupboard!

Origins And History Of Balti Masala

Chicken Balti Curry
Chicken Balti Curry

Balti is a type of Indian curry that is thought to have originated in Birmingham, England. It is believed that Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in Birmingham, England, in the 1970s created the Balti.

The dish is prepared in a sizeable two-handled wok called a “balti.” According to Pat Chapman, a food historian, the word’s origins can be traced to Baltistan in northern Pakistan, where a cast-iron wok similar to a karahi is traditionally used for cooking.

Some have said that the Birmingham balti developed as the men who had come over to work in the UK in the 1970s could not bring their wives with them, so they sought comfort in food from home.

Others argue that it was invented due to its similarity with Chicken Tikka Masala, most likely created by Bangladeshi immigrants living in Britain.

By 2001 it had become one of Britain’s most popular dishes.

The Balti refers to the cooking style rather than just one particular dish itself, and many variations are now available such as balti chicken or balti vegetables.

I think this is a wonderfully fragrant dish with definite Indian origins but has been adapted by Anglo parents who brought their culture with them when they moved here from Pakistan and Afghanistan over 40 years ago.

Flavor Profile And Aroma Of Balti Masala

Balti masala is a popular Indian spice blend that adds a unique flavor and aroma to many dishes.

The flavor profile of Balti masala can be enhanced by adding green cardamom (very little as it has a characteristic sweet solid aroma), black pepper, red chili powder, and salt.

Cumin and cardamom are two familiar flavors you’ll find in the spice mix.

Cumin is known for its earthy and nutty notes, while cardamom adds an aromatic sweetness to the dish.

Coriander is also found in some garam masala varieties, giving it an extra layer of complexity with its citrus-like flavor.

Balti paste can be used as a substitute for Korma curry paste if you need to build on this flavor profile.

It’s important to note that each ingredient plays an essential role in creating the desired aroma and taste, so make sure not to overdo or underuse any one ingredient when preparing your dish!

Culinary Uses Of Balti Masala

Balti is a style of curry preparation that originates in Birmingham, England.

It is usually a meat dish but can be vegetarian and is made with a thick, spicy tomato-based sauce.

Aromatic and flavorful spices are typically used to make Balti dishes, such as Balti chicken which is an Indian chicken dish cooked in a tomato-based sauce with traditional Indian spices.

The word “balti” means “bucket” in Punjabi, and there are two types of Balti – one refers to the kind of dish, and the other refers to the vessel it’s cooked in.

Balti masala is an essential ingredient for making any Balti dish. All these ingredients combine to create a unique flavor that makes any Balti dish stand out from other curries.

The spices used in this masala can also be mixed to create different flavors depending on your cooking.

Balti masala has become increasingly popular over the years due to its versatility and ease of use when cooking curry or stew-like dishes.

Whether making traditional Indian dishes or experimenting with new recipes, this spice blend will add an aromatic flavor that will make your meal unforgettable!

How To Make Balti Masala At Home

Balti Masala Recipe

Balti masala

Balti Masala is a fragrant spice blend in many Indian dishes, especially in Balti cuisine.

Balti Masala adds a warm, complex flavor to curries, soups, and stews.

Making your own Balti Masala at home is easy, allowing you to customize the spice blend. Here’s how to make it:

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Heat a dry skillet or pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon sticks, fennel, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds to the skillet.
  3. Toast the spices for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the spices cool.
  5. Once cooled, transfer the spices to a spice grinder or blender.
  6. Add the turmeric powder, paprika, and salt to the spice grinder or blender.
  7. Grind the spices until they are finely ground and well combined.
  8. Store the Balti Masala in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.


To use the Balti Masala in your cooking, add a teaspoon or two to your dishes during the cooking process.

Balti Masala works well with chicken, lamb, and vegetable dishes, but feel free to experiment with it and see what works best for you.

Balti Masala is a complex spice blend that can be intimidating to make for the first time.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Balti Masala:

  1. Toast the Spices: To bring out the full flavor of the spices, toast them in a dry skillet or pan before grinding. This will give the Balti Masala a rich, warm flavor for Indian cooking.
  2. Use Whole Spices: Use whole spices instead of pre-ground spices whenever possible. Whole spices will provide a much fresher and more intense flavor to your Balti Masala.
  3. Adjust the Heat: The amount of heat in your Balti Masala can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a milder spice blend, reduce the chili powder or omit it altogether. Add more chili powder, or use hot chili varieties if you like it hot.
  4. Customize the Ingredients: Balti Masala is a versatile spice blend that can be customized to your liking. If you don’t like a particular spice or want to add more of another, feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your tastes.
  5. Store Properly: To keep your Balti Masala fresh, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Properly stored, your Balti Masala will last for several months.
  6. Experiment: Once you have made your own Balti Masala, experiment using it in different dishes to see what works best for you. The spice blend is versatile and can be used in various Indian dishes, so have fun and be creative!

Making your own Balti Masala is a fun and rewarding experience. With a little practice, you can create a spice blend perfectly tailored to your taste preferences.

Use these tips and tricks to make the perfect Balti Masala and enjoy the rich, aromatic flavors of Indian cuisine in your own home.

Where to Buy Balti Masala?

Balti Masala can be found at many grocery stores with Indian spices and seasonings. You can also find Balti Masala on various spice retailers’ websites or on Amazon.

When buying Balti Masala, check the ingredients list to ensure that it contains the spices you want and verify the expiration date.

Some brands of Balti Masala may also have varying heat levels, so choose a brand that matches your desired level of spiciness.

Pataks Balti Curry Paste 283 G

Balti Curry Paste is a convenient and time-saving option for home cooks who want to add authentic Balti flavors to their dishes, as it eliminates the need to source and prepare a wide range of individual spices and herbs.

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Substitutes for Balti Masala

Balti Masala is a unique spice blend commonly used in Indian cuisine. However, if you don’t have Balti Masala on hand, there are several substitutes that you can use instead.

Here are some of the most popular substitutes for Balti Masala:

Curry Powder

Curry powder is a spice blend that typically includes coriander, cumin, turmeric, and other spices. It has a similar flavor profile to Balti Masala and is a great substitute for this spice blend.

Tikka Masala Powder

Tikka Masala powder is a spice blend commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a similar flavor profile to Balti Masala and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

Sambar Powder with Allspice and Cumin

Sambar powder is a traditional Indian spice blend typically used in South Indian cooking. It can be mixed with allspice and cumin to create a substitute for Balti Masala.

Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout is a North African spice blend that includes a variety of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric. It can be used as a substitute for Balti Masala in some recipes.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a popular Indian spice blend with cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. It has a similar flavor profile to Balti Masala and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori Masala is a spice blend commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a similar flavor profile to Balti Masala and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

Chaat Masala

Chaat Masala is a popular Indian spice blend that includes cumin, coriander, and other spices. It has a tangy, sour flavor and can be used as a substitute for Balti Masala in some recipes.

Curry Paste

Curry paste is a blend of spices and other ingredients that is used to make curry. It can be used as a substitute for Balti Masala in some recipes.

Cumin Powder

Cumin powder is a spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It can be used as a substitute for Balti Masala in some recipes.


Allspice is a spice that has a flavor similar to cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It can be used as a substitute for Balti Masala in some recipes.

When using any of these substitutes for Balti Masala, it is essential to note that each one will produce different flavors.

Depending on what flavor profile you’re looking for in your dish, you may need to adjust the number of spices used and experiment with different combinations to get the desired taste.

Additionally, some of these substitutes may be more readily available than others depending on where you live, so keep this in mind when selecting.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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