Spice on a Spoon – Dry Indian Masala

Indian Spice Rub with Red Kidney Beans & Fried Plantains

An Indian kitchen is full of spices, and mine is no different, there are spices that we use whole for tempering, and then those that we roast and grind into dry spice mixes that have multi-purposes.

The most popular amongst these mixes is the garam masala that most of you may know about, but there’s another one I like to use that imparts a sour kick and is milder than the garam masala.

indian spice rub
Indian spice rub – masala made easy…

It’s a simple 5-ingredient spice rub, consisting of each ingredient in its ground form – coriander, turmeric, red chilies, amchur and salt.

Amchur – is a tart brown spice made from dried green mangoes ground into a fine powder.

It’s used to provide tartness to food like lemons or vinegar; but has a fruity or herbaceous flavor. Pre-mixed Indian masalas that contain amchur are sold as chaat masala, used mostly on street food, and contain other spices than the mix below.

I used this masala in two ways the other night for a quick Caribbean/Indian dinner. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of the Indian spices are commonly used in Caribbean and Latin cuisines, like cumin, coriander, chilies, tamarind, etc.

Ripe plantains smell sweet with a hint of starch…

Amchur Masala – Makes Approx. 1 Tbs.

    1 tsp. ground coriander powder
    1 tsp. amchur powder
    ½ tsp. red chili powder (adjust for spice tolerance)
    ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
    ½ tsp. salt
red kidney beans
Red kidney beans stewing with spices…

Rajma – Red Kidney Beans – Serves 2

    8 oz. red kidney beans cooked
    ½ cup of tomatoes roughly chopped
    ½ cup onions roughly chopped
    1 clove of garlic minced
    ½ tsp. amchur masala
    1 pinch of tsp. chili powder (for additional spice if needed)
    1 tsp. olive oil

Plantains – Serves 2

    1 ripe plantain
    2 tsps. olive oil
    1 tsp. amchur masala
  1. Measure and mix the dry spices in a clean dry bowl and set aside
  2. Heat the 1 tsp. of oil in a pan and sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes until the onions are translucent and the tomatoes have started to caramelize – approximately 7-8 minutes
  3. Add the cooked beans and amchur masala to the pan and let it all simmer at low for about 20 minutes
  4. Peel and cut the plantain into ¾ inch slices
  5. Add the 2 tsps. oil to a frying pan and heat
  6. fried plantains
    Fried plantains with amchur masala…
  7. Add the plantains to the pan and fry approximately 3 minutes on each side, look for the caramelized color, watch them since they tend to cook quickly
  8. Remove plantains from the pan and onto a paper towel to soak off any excess oil, sprinkle with the amchur masala while still warm
  9. Adjust salt or spice heat before serving

Serve with cubed avocado over rice or with warm tortillas. Squeeze some lime and garnish with cilantro.

This makes a quick vegan meal on a weeknight if you’re using canned beans like I did and within 30 minutes we had a nutritious dinner on a plate.

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