Bise Bele Bath Masala Powder

The tough thing about cooking Indian food is that the secret is always in the spices. So seeing how a masala is made from scratch is really demystifying. The great thing is that if you make a batch of a masala like this, you can just keep it on hand and make incredibly tasty dishes very easily.

This is a follow up to Asha Janardhan’s Bise Bele Bath recipe – Asha shows how to make the masala powder that gives the bise bele bath it’s rich flavors. Of course, you can buy pre-made powder at an Indian market (and those can be really good too – MTR is a favorite brand), but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make it from scratch:

Bise Bele Bath Masala Powder Ingredients:

1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. marat maggu
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ghee
1-1/4 tbs chana dal
1 tbs urad dal
3 handfuls coriander seeds
~20 curry leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp nutmeg
~2 cups byadgi chilis


In heavy bottom pan over low-med flame, roast cloves, marat maggu, broken cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods in ghee. When it begins to splatter, cover briefly but don’t let it burn. Remove from heat.
In same pan, roast poppy seeds. Remove from heat.
Roast urad dal and chana dal until they darken. Remove from heat.
Roast corriander, curry leaves, asafoetida and nutmeg until fragrant. Remove from heat.
Remove stems from chilis and heat over low flame until fragrant. Remove from heat.
Grind all your roasted spices together and use in Bise Bele Bath or to spice up any dish.

Thank you Sintalentos for the music recs: Patrick Lee: Bad Panda #42; “Caddo Lake” by Michael Chapman

Also, thank you Joram for lending us your audio equip!

4 thoughts on “Bise Bele Bath Masala Powder

  1. my favorite non-masala-related moment: when asha talks about how to say “rent.” reminds me of an early childhood lesson differentiating between “bento” and “benjo” in japanese: one means lunch box, the other means toilet.

    my favorite masala-related moment: the observation that the spices cooking will make the dog bark!

    really enjoying this series…

  2. i appreciate your comments, dan! i see a little more conflict with the bento/benjo confusion though! i think both of these moments you mention are special because they are small windows into Asha and Kavitha and their relationship. And anyone who knows them, knows the Janardhans love their hounds!

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