Today I decided to share the recipe of a major ingredient used in Maharashtrian cooking--'Goda Masala'. It is the base for most Maharashtrian curries and dals (called aamti in Marathi).To make goda masala the spices are roasted using oil. All spices are roasted till they become darker in colour and then ground to a powder. When the spices are roasted enough for them to be dark brown (almost black) in colour when ground, it is called 'Kaala Masala'. 'Kaala' means black in Marathi, and hence the name. The difference between 'Kaala Masala' and 'Goda Masala' is due to the proportions of certain spices and the degree to which they are toasted. The recipe and name for this masala can vary from family to family but, the basic ingredients or the flavor will never change drastically. Every time I go to my hometown in India I get a full year's supply of homemade masala from my mother-in-law as well as my mother. It is very easy to make, it can be stored for several months, and the most important thing....a little goes a long way!
Dhane (Coriander seeds) 1 cup
Jeere (Cumin seeds) 1/4 cup
Teel (White Sesame seeds) 1/3 cup
Lavang (Cloves) 2 tbsp
Badi Elaichi (Big Cardamom) 2 tbsp
Dalchini (Cinnamon sticks) 2 tbsp
Kaale Mire (Black peppercorns)2 tbsp
Dagadphool (Lichen) 2 tbsp (skip it, if unavailable)
Tamalpatra (Bay leaf) 1/2 cup
Oil to roast the spices about 1-2 tsp
In a pan or kadhai, heat the oil and roast all the spices together till they turn dark in color.The color should be a very dark brown in order to get a good color to the masala. Make sure to keep stirring to avoid burnt spices.Once roasted, let cool and then pass through a grinder to make a powder.
This is how the masala will look when its ready....
There has been a lot of confusion regarding kaala masala/goda masala, so I tried to find out more on this. According to my research, the proportion of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, elaichi, and dalchini (garam masala ingredients) is more in kaala masala and that generally, dried coconut (khobra) & sesame seeds are not used. Also, the spices are toasted to a more darker colour to make Kaala masala. Hence, goda masala is slightly lighter in colour than kaala masala. Again, this may vary family to family. My mom's recipe of Goda masala skips the dried coconut only because, coconut starts giving out an oily smell if kept for too long.
I have modified my post accordingly and I hope this will clear some of the confusion created by my post.