Kala Masala Recipe

Kala Masala Recipe
Kala Masala (which translates directly into “black spice mix”) is the very essence of Maharashtrian cooking. Also known as goda masala, this exotic blend of spices contains several key ingredients rarely found outside of India. So for this very reason alone, I have been hesitant to post this particular recipe. Of course you may certainly omit these unusual ingredients but that will also change the taste. It’s also not easy to find readymade kala masala in Indian grocery stores here in the US. So exactly what are these rare ingredients?

“Dagad Phool” which directly translates into “stone flower” (sometimes also called black stone flower) is a dried flower. The English name is kalpasi. Now many people actually confuse dagad phool with star anise – which is known as badal phool & also an ingredient used in making kala/goda masala. “Nag Kesar” which translates directly into “cobra saffron” are actually dried buds from the ironwood tree. In case you’re wondering, I get my supply of these lovely hard-to-find ingredients directly from India.

Nevertheless, I will provide my own kala masala recipe since I get so many requests for this specific spice mix. Obviously the dagad phool & nag kesar will be optional ☺.

KALA MASALA (Maharashtrian Spice Mix)


2 cups coriander seeds

½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

¼ cup white sesame seeds

¼ cup cumin seeds
2 tbsp shah jeera (black cumin seeds)
3-4 dried red chilies, to taste
3 bay leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
(about 2” long)
1 star anise (badal phool)
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp asafetida (hing)

½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dagad phool (optional)
1 tsp nag kesar (optional)
1 tsp oil (coconut, vegetable or canola)


In a medium size skillet (cast iron works really well) on medium heat, add the oil. Then toast the ingredients one by one until browned. Do not burn the spices. Allow to cool and then using a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) grind into a powder. Store in an airtight jar for up to 3 months, for a longer shelf life – store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year or so.


You could also add 1 tsp of black mustard seeds or 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds (methi) if you like.

Kala Masala photo Kala Masala.jpg

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