One of the best parts of Indian cuisines is the spices used to flavor them. The chaat masala, sometimes written as the chat masala, is a spice that originates from South Asia, specifically India.
The complex flavors of the chaat masala make it very interesting to add to dishes and make each bite different than the last. The chaat masala is likened to the garam masala, but it is used in more fruit dishes. The name chaat masala translates to “tasty spicy blends” because it is complex and involves a lot of different spices.
However, you may not find the chaat masala in some parts of the country, and that’s why we will be providing you with some of the best chaat masala substitutes that you can use instead.
Tikka masala, dried mango powder, garam Masala, black salt, lemon juice, Baharat, and curry powder are among the most suitable substitutes for chaat masala that you can always opt for!
But why should you use them in place chaat masala? Let’s quickly find out!
What is Chaat Masala Made Of?
Like most spices you would find in India, the chaat masala varies depending on the recipe. Still, overall, 5 primary ingredients are sure to be in most chaat masalas.
These ingredients are;
- Red chili powder
- Toasted cumin seeds
- Black salt
- Dried pomegranate seeds
- Dried mango powder
The flavor of the chaat masala varies depending on the recipe and the ratio in which they are added, making it highly useful in many recipes.
Best Chaat Masala Substitutes
There aren’t a lot of chaat masala substitutes, but the few I’m going to be listing out are excellent alternatives.
Let’s get started!
1. Dried Mango Powder
The dried mango powder is one of the key ingredients in the chaat masala, and it can also work great as a substitute. You should go for this substitute since the chaat masala has a tart and tangy flavor, just like the dried mango powder.
You should note that dried mango won’t provide you with the same complex flavor as the chaat masala, so you should only use this substitute to taste.
You can start by adding a few spoons of the dried mango powder and then add some later.
2. Garam Masala
Garam masala is another popular spice that is used in a lot of Indian cuisines. Like the chaat masala, its recipes and taste vary from region to region and recipe to recipe.
Garam is another vital substitute for the chaat masala as it shares some common ingredients with the chaat masala, like the black peppers, cumin seeds, and red chili powder.
These are not all the ingredients in the garam masala, as the garam masala can also contain many flavorful ingredients depending on the recipe.
You should note that the garam masala does not contain dried mango powder and salt, which are among the primary ingredients in the chaat masala.
This situation shouldn’t be a problem, as you can also add a pinch of salt and dried mango powder to your dish if available. You should use this substitute moderately in your dish as excessive use of it may completely change the taste of your dish.
3. Tikka Masala
The tikka masala is made of various pungent, flavored, and aromatic ingredients, just like the garam.
This spice also shares some ingredients with chaat masalas like black peppers, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and red chili powder. You can also find some tikka spice with a bit of mango powder, so you should always opt for tikka with mango powder in it.
When substituting, you should also add a bit of salt for a better flavor. Like every substitute, you should add the tikka masala in smaller quantities until you achieve your desired flavor.
You should not add this substitute in a ratio of 1:1 as it contains string ingredients like turmeric.
Baharat is a decent chaat masala substitute due to its excellent quality, making it a suitable ingredient and condiment.
If you want to have a deeper look at the taste of this condiment, then you should note that it is similar to coriander seeds and black peppers.
When using Baharat as a substitute, you should add the salt and mango in pinches, and then you can safely incorporate this substitute into salads and soups.
5. Curry Powder
If you don’t have any of the substitutes listed, then curry powder is a reasonably good choice that can be used as a secondary substitute for the chaat masala.
There are a lot of curry powder blends that you can find in the market and even in your various homes.
Just like the garam masala and tikka masala, the curry powder does not contain salt or mango powder, so you must add those yourself.
Curry powder is a better ingredient than a condiment, so it would be better to substitute it in cooked food like soups and not on salads.
6. Black Salt and Lemon Juice
This substitute is not the best that you should settle for, but it is relatively good. This substitute would provide your dish with a hint of the black salt’s sulfurous taste and carry the hints of the lemon juice.
Even if the result is not precisely like the chaat masala, it is worth trying. The result of the combination is usually zesty, and you should also note that this substitute is best added in a pinch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Black Salt the Same as The Himalayan Salt?
The black salt is another version of the pink Himalayan salt. Still, in this case, the salt is heated to very high temperatures in kilns along with charcoal before it is infused with specific therapeutic properties. You can say that they are the same since the black slat is just a form of Himalayan salt.
Is Amchur Powder and Chaat Masala the Same?
Most of you might be confused by the name amchur powder, the amchur powder means mango powder, and it is a primary spice in the chaat masala as it gives it a distinctive taste. These two can be substituted interchangeably even if they do not mean the same.
Is garam masala a good substitute for the chaat masala?
Yes, it is. Garam masala is one of the best substitutes for the chaat masala you can find. When substituted