Masala or Massala or Masalo (Hindi: मसाला, Gujarati: મસાલો, Marathi: मसाला, Nepali: मसला) is a word used in South East Asia, mainly Pakistan, Nepal, India, England and Bangladesh. When Indian people talk about cooking and they say Masala, they mean a mixture of ground spices used in Indian cooking.
There are many different, popular spice mixtures that have been given their own name because they taste really good with one special ingredient; the dish will often use Masala in its name. Some popular dishes are:
- Masala Chai: tea (chai is an Asian word for tea) flavoured with a special blend of spices
- Chicken Tikka Masala: pieces (tikka is the Indian word for pieces) of chicken cooked using a special blend of spices; very popular in the United Kingdom & Ireland
- Chana Masala: a chickpea dish flavoured with a special mix of spices
- Maggi masala noodles: a brand of noodles with a packet of dried spices for flavouring; very popular in India
The blend of spices or masala for these dishes is often sold in markets or packed by companies to be sold in shops. Some spice blends, like Garam Masala, are so popular it is often used in many different recipes, not just one.
Also India is one of the only countries to have the highest variety in masalas. Around 70% of the world's spice business and exports are handled by India!!
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