Last updated: August 12, 2021

Our method

12Products analysed

29Hours spent

14Evaluated articles

75User reviews

Welcome to our big Tandoori Masala Test 2021. Here we present all the Tandoori Masalas we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best tandoori masala for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying Tandoori Masala.




Summary

  • Tandoori Masala is a spice mixture from India that consists of hot and aromatic spices. It has a subtle fruity spiciness and is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, as there is a variety of possible recipes.
  • A very well-known dish prepared with the Indian spice blend is tandoori chicken. Here, the powder is used as a marinade mixed with yoghurt and lemon juice.
  • Tandoori contains many healthy ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and cumin, which have positive effects on you and your body. As an alternative to tandoori masala, you can use the Indian spices garam masala, tikka masala and chat masala or paprika powder.

The best Tandoori masala: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Tandoori Masala

What is Tandoori Masala?

Tandoori Masala is an Indian spice blend of hot and aromatic spices. It has a bright red, orange colour.

Tandoori Chicken is a typical Indian dish. (Image source: pixabay.com / ArtificialOG)

The spice mixture is mainly used as a marinade for meat. The term "masala" stands for spice mixture. Thus, there are many different compositions of tandoori masala. You can buy Tandoori Masala in the form of a powder or a paste. Here you can see the basic ingredients of the spice mixture at a glance:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chilli

Some spice blends also contain the following ingredients:

  • Turmeric
  • Onion
  • Chilli
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Saffron
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon

The word "tandoori" is derived from the traditional charcoal oven tandur, in which the marinated meat is cooked.

In addition to the marinated meat, the traditional Indian naan bread is baked in the tandur. (Image source: pixabay.com /halef_)

In northern India, there is a dish of the same name in which the spice mixture is used. For the typical Indian dish Tandoori Chicken, you first have to mix the spice mixture with yoghurt. You can refine the marinade with fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice. After that, the meat has to marinate for a few hours before you can roast it. The longer the better. We recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight. In this video you can see how the marinated meat cooks in the Tandur: By the way, the Indian term "masala" is not to be confused with the liqueur wine "Marsala" from Sicily.

Is Tandoori Masala vegetarian?

Yes, the spice mixture consists exclusively of vegetarian ingredients. In traditional dishes, tandoori masala is mostly used as a marinade for fish and meat. However, there are a variety of vegetarian dishes that you can cook with the Indian spice blend.

Is Tandoori Masala vegan?

Tandoori Masala is 100 percent vegan. You have a wide range of vegan recipes that you can prepare with the spice blend. For example, you can marinate tofu or all kinds of vegetables with the spice. As an alternative to yoghurt, you can use soy yoghurt, for example.

Is Tandoori Masala gluten-free?

As a rule, tandoori masala is gluten-free. It is often the case that the product packaging states that the spice mixture may contain traces of gluten. To be sure, you should definitely read the product description in order to eat gluten-free.

Is Tandoori Masala spicy?

The Indian spice blend has a subtle fruity spiciness. Depending on the amount of chillies added, the level of spiciness can vary.

Is Tandoori Masala the same as curry powder?

In Europe, we understand curry powder to be a yellow-coloured spice mixture. In India, however, curry stands for a dish. The spice mixtures that we call curry are called masala in India. Tandoori masala is a special form of masala, and like all forms of masala, is basically the same as curry powder.

How much does Tandoori Masala cost?

There is a wide range of prices for tandoori masala. You can buy classic tandoori masala from around €1.50 per 100 grams. If you prefer organic quality, you should spend a little more. For organic tandoori masala, you should expect to pay more than €10 per 100 grams.
type price/100 g
classic Tandoori Masala approx. 1,50-10 €
organic Tandoori Masala approx. 10-25 €

If you want to prepare Tandoori Masala yourself, you have to expect higher costs. The individual ingredients are more expensive because you usually have to buy them in larger quantities than you need. You also need a mortar or grinder to make the spice mixture. If you are interested in making the spice mix yourself, we have added a recipe here:

  • 1 tbsp whole cumin
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried garlic flakes
  • 2 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 2-3 pieces dried chilli peppers
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt

What are the alternatives to Tandoori Masala?

There are several alternatives to Tandoori Masala. These include garam masala, tikka masala, chat masala and paprika powder. Garam Masala, originally from North India, means "warming spice". The spice mixture consists of cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, chilli, coriander, bay leaves and garlic. It contains spices that, according to Ayurvedic medicine, warm the body. Garam masala, coloured tobacco brown, has a spicy, only slightly hot taste.

The North Indian spice mixture is usually added after cooking, creating a spicy aroma.

Another alternative is tikka masala, an Indian spice blend consisting of cumin, paprika, coriander seeds, ginger, mint, chilli, mace, Ceylon cinnamon, garlic and cardamom. The dark red spice mixture has a mild flavour. The well-known dish Chicken Tikka Masala originates from Great Britain. It is a curry dish of grilled and marinated chicken pieces in a tomato sauce. Chat Masala is a light brown coloured spice blend from India. It contains the following spices: Mango, salt, cumin, black pepper, pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint, ginger, nutmeg, chilli, cumin, cloves, asafetida. It has a spicy and slightly sour taste. You can use it for salads, fruit, chutneys, Indian lemonade, desserts and curries. As an alternative to tandoori masala, you can use paprika powder. The red powder originates from South America, but is now cultivated in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain and Central America. Paprika powder consists of ground paprika, which tastes hotter depending on the type of powder. It depends on whether the seeds and ribs of the peppers are also ground, because this creates different levels of flavour. You can use paprika powder for soups, sauces, salads, meat and vegetables.

Alternative Garam Masala Tikka Masala Chat Masala Paprika powder
Colour Tobacco brown Dark red Light brown Red
Origin North India Great Britain India South America
Ingredients Cardamon, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, chilli, coriander, bay leaves, garlic Cumin, paprika, coriander seed, ginger, mint, chilli, mace, Ceylon cinnamon, garlic, cardamom Mango, salt, cumin, black pepper, pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint, ginger, nutmeg, chilli, cumin, cloves, asafetida Ground paprika
Taste Spicy, only slightly hot taste Not hot Spicy and slightly sour Fruity sweet, hotter depending on the type of powder
Use Garam Masala ("hot spice") is usually added after cooking, creating a spicy aroma. The well-known dish "Chicken Tikka Masala" originated in Great Britain. It is a curry dish of grilled and marinated chicken in a tomato sauce. It is often used for salads, fruit, chutneys, Indian lemonade, desserts as well as for curries. Paprika powder can be used in many ways. It goes well with soups, sauces, salads, meat and vegetables.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate Tandoori Masala

Do you want to buy Tandoori Masala? In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible tandoori masalas. The criteria that help you compare Tandoori Masala with each other:

  • Shelf life
  • Origin
  • Quantity
  • Quality
  • Seal
  • Packaging

Shelf life

Spice blends can be kept for up to four years. However, they lose their aroma, colour and flavour relatively quickly. Therefore, you should definitely use up Tandoori Masala within a year to get the optimal seasoning. To guarantee that your spice mix is fresh, you can also make it yourself, as mentioned above.

You should store Tandoori Masala in a cool, dry and airtight place.

Origin

The spice mixture Tandoori Masala originally comes from India. In the meantime, it has been adopted by many manufacturers and is also produced in Germany.

Quantity

You can buy Tandoori Masala in many different pack sizes. There are 25 g, 32 g, 50 g, 80 g, 85 g, 100 g, 250 g, 400 g, 450 g and 1 kg packages. We recommend that you do not buy the spice mix in too large quantities, as it quickly loses its intensity. On the other hand, pack sizes of 1 kg are worthwhile for the catering trade.

Quality

There are of course differences in quality between the various products. If you value organic quality, you should prefer Tandoori Masala from organic production. We recommend buying organic tandoori masala, despite the higher price compared to classic tandoori masala, as it does not use genetic engineering. You can also buy the Indian spice mix as a Fairtrade product. Then you are also supporting the fair working and living conditions of the employees.

Seal

You can tell the difference in quality at a glance by the seals. The seals identify the products as organic quality and/or Fairtrade products.

Packaging

The appearance of the packaging of spice mixes may not be that important to many people, but you may want tandoori masala that not only tastes good but also has good-looking packaging. To add some value to the packaging, manufacturers try to design exclusive and appealing packaging.

Trivia: Interesting facts about Tandoori Masala

Is Tandoori Masala healthy?

Tandoori Masala is very healthy due to its ingredients such as ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric. The spice mixture is mainly used to marinate chicken. Chicken is lean, has little fat and provides valuable protein.

Advantages
  • Tandoori Masala warms from the inside and has many healthy ingredients
  • The ginger contained in the Indian spice blend stimulates the metabolism, aids digestion and helps against nausea and vomiting.
  • Garlic has an anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect.
  • Coriander promotes digestion and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Cumin has an antispasmodic effect.
  • Turmeric is considered anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and analgesic.
  • Pepper stimulates salivation and gastric juices. It also stimulates digestion

How can I use Tandoori Masala?

The Indian spice mixture is excellent for marinating. The traditional dishes are prepared with chicken, like Tandoori Chicken. You can replace the meat with any kind of vegetable or with tofu. Mix the powder with yoghurt and lemon juice and then marinate the meat or vegetables. You can also use Tandoori Masala to refine dishes and as a wok seasoning. To give you an idea of how you can use the Tandoori Masala spice blend, for example, in the dish Tandoori Chicken.

Image source: unsplash.com /Taylor Kiser

Reviews