Making Basic Powders for Indian Cuisine at Home

After I came to US, I thought some items in the grocery stores here were incomprehensible, such as some powdered spices, pastes, chopped vegetables, or say, peeled garlic.  I wondered why people bought them?  Then I guessed it was probably because the fast-paced life, working couples, and independent families do not have time for menial jobs.

making basic powders for Indian cuisine at home instead of purchasing from the store
making basic powders for Indian cuisine at home instead of purchasing from the store
I understand that for busy people making ginger, garlic, and green chili pastes or clarified butter (ghee) at home may be time-consuming, but then, it is a one-time effort and the pastes or ghee last well for months.

In addition to that, certain basic masalas and powders that take lesser time to prepare and store well are a pretty good idea to make at home too.  Especially those that are frequently needed in cooking Indian food and are simple enough to make.  I personally think buying them from stores is unnecessary.

Sesame Seeds – How to Make Roasted Sesame Powder at Home
Whether you add sesame seeds to a stir-fry or roasted sesame powder to a baingan sabji, they add a very unique taste.  Toast sesame seeds evenly in a pan until light brown on medium heat, let cool, grind, store in air tight container in pantry, and use it for months.  That's it.  It is THIS simple to make sesame seed powder at home.
Spusht | How to make sesame seed powder at home
making sesame seed powder at home
Raw Peanuts – How to Make Roasted Peanut Powder at Home
Add peanuts in a poha for breakfast or ground peanuts in an okra sabji, the nutty flavor adds a punch in any dish.  Dry roast peanuts (without any oil) on medium heat in a pan, let cool, rub altogether to remove skin or leave as is and grind, store in an airtight container at room temperature in your pantry, and use it for months.  That's it.  It is THIS simple to make peanut powder at home.
Spusht | How to make roasted peanut powder at home
making roasted peanut powder at home

Cumin Seeds – How to Make Roasted Cumin Powder at Home
One of the most essential spices in Indian kitchen, a tadka is incomplete without mustard seeds or cumin seeds, and several curries need the cumin powder for its distinct flavor.  Dry roast cumin seeds evenly on medium heat in a pan by stirring continuously, let cool, grind, store separately in airtight container or in your regularly used spice box, and use it for months.  That's it.  It is THIS simple to make cumin seed powder at home.
Spusht | How to make roasted cumin powder at home
making roasted cumin powder at home

Fresh Bread – How to Make Breadcrumbs at Home
Whether for using bread to make Double ka Meetha or rolling patties in breadcrumbs before frying, if you cannot use up remaining bread within its expiration date and do not want to waste the slices - make breadcrumbs.  Whether you use store-bought white bread or choose to bake your own white bread at home: toast the slices on both sides in a toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, depending on heat intensity, let cool, grind, store in airtight container in your refrigerator, and use it for weeks.  That's it.  It is THIS simple to make breadcrumbs at home.
Spusht | How to make breadcrumbs at home
making breadcrumbs at home

Sambar Powder
Sambar, the celebrated stew from South Indian cuisine that is amazingly flavorful and contains plenty vegetables, has the secret ingredient Sambar Powder.  Everyone has their unique recipe of making this powder.  Although making this at home is fairy easy, it is preferable to buy the powder from a good brand.
making sambar powder at home

These and other common powders (such as chaat masala and garam masala) are very basic things that can easily be ground at home and are good to have handy; in fact a lot of Indian kitchens already do.  Here are few more:  Vimitha's Curry Leaves Powder,  Namitha's Coriander Powder, Fathima's Pepper-Cumin Powder, Rasya's Curry Powder.

In addition to the masalas, I also remember from my childhood how my granny (naniji) and her daughter-in-laws (my mamijis) made all sorts of pickles [raw mango, lime, etc], rolled out papads and piped out mangodis on the terrace in summers and left them to dry under the sun.  All stored and stocked up well to last a whole year.

What other homemade powders, pastes, etc do you make and keep?

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  1. Homemade powders are the best. In addition I make pepper, rasam and idli powders..

  2. Thanks a lot dear... Do link the Curry leaves powder recipe to this page... Heres the link...

  3. Wonderful post a much reqd..esp love the peanut powder..

  4. Niceinfo..i will make coriander powder too..

  5. I make pepper- jeera powder (I have blogged this), udad dal powder for idlis dosas, spiced black sesame powder, spiced corriander - dal powder for podi thoovals. When in UAE I used to make mor milagai vattrals, kool vadavams, etc..

    Love your posts I feel we are on the same wavelength, waiting for your next post on food photography.

  6. Very nice post, useful to so many of us..

  7. That is surely a very useful piece of info by you. Sometimes such trivial things make a grand mark in your culinary practice.

    Round Up 1 : Cakes, Cookies and Desserts

  8. wow looks lovely and useful recipes ........

  9. BTW you can link your roasted cumin powder to my event..EP Series-Cilantro /Cumin Event

    Erivum Puliyum

  10. I don't keep any homemade's Shan all the way for me. :) And still, I have no idea how to make Indian food!

    You are amazing.

  11. I would prefer a home-made powder anytime. When u roast and grind it the aroma is amazing and it stays for long too.

  12. very useful post.......n very help ful 2 me.....

  13. First time here...following uuuuuu.

  14. Basics! My Prof used to yell. Get your basic clear. Thanks. I needed to remember him.

  15. Homemade spice powder are always flavourful than store bought. hanks for sharing this post.
    Do visit my new blog

  16. I always make my own roasted cumin powder. Never really got down to making peanut powder. What all do you use it for?

  17. Home made is the best ! Great post and thanks for the sweet mention :-)

  18. Lovely post Nisha. thanks for sharing. I am going to be making bread crumbs soon soon! :)


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