Tandoori Spice Mix - A Flavourful Blend Enjoyed in Traditional Indian and Pakistani Cuisine

If you enjoy a visit to your local Indian restaurant, then food (probably chicken or lamb) flavoured with tandoori spice is something you're sure to have experienced. This unique blend, hailing from Northern India, Pakistan and various other countries is a flavour-packed mix with numerous uses. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 8-9 tablespoons)

4 tbsp coriander seeds
2½ tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp green cardamom pods
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp saffron strands (optional)
3 inch piece of cassia-cinnamon (or other cinnamon)
2-3 whole star anise
2 tsp salt (see note 2 below)

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cassia-cinnamon and star anise
  • Grind the cinnamon and star anise pieces along with the coriander, cumin, salt, cloves and cardamom pods
  • Once ground, sieve into a bowl
  • Stir in the ginger, chili, paprika and garlic powders
  • Finally, and if using, crumble in the saffron threads and combine thoroughly

Store your tandoori powder in a cool place in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making a fresh amount.

Note: To get even more flavours and aromas from the whole ingredients, I recommend dry toasting the coriander, cumin, cardamom and cloves prior to cooling, grinding and combining. This only takes a few minutes and is recommended. Read more about this easy to do cooking technique. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: Whilst you can use regular table salt for this tandoori spice I recommend using a less processed salt: sea, rock or kosher for example. Not only is it healthier, it will add more flavour to your blend and therefore your tandoori cooking.

Ingredient Note:
 I recommend using a few whole spices for this tandoori mix if you have them available. If not, use pre-ground powders and reduce the amounts by half. For example, it says 4 tablespoons of coriander seeds so you use 2 tablespoons of pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with the other powders when making. (If you don't have whole cinnamon and star anise use 2 teaspoons of pre-ground for both).

Homemade Tandoori Masala

Preparation and Usage Tips: 

There are various ways of using this flavouring: Use it as a general seasoning/rub for meat, or, sprinkle over cooked veg and fish. Maybe combine a teaspoon or two with olive oil and use as a salad dressing, or probably the most popular way, combine with some Greek/plain yoghurt, lemon juice and a touch of olive oil before marinating some chicken or lamb prior to grilling or oven cooking.

After Making Your Tandoori Spice You May Like to Try...

Chat Masala - The 
Unique Sweet and
Sour Indian Blend

A Stronger Masala 
With Smoky Black
Cardamom Seeds

A Collection of Dry
Rubs For Tastier
Grilling & Frying

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