East Indian Bottle Masala is a combination of spices and herbs originating from the East Indian people of Goa.
Who are East Indians? East Indians are a group of people with Christian beliefs, that were heavily influenced by the Portuguese settlers to India.
Each family had their own secret recipe. Some versions had as little as 20 ingredients however some had as many as 60!
Once a year they would collect the spices, herbs and other ingredients for this special masala.
ingredients are dried in the sun for a couple of days and then finely ground and packed in to coloured bottles and sealed.
The coloured glass of the bottle would protect the precious masala from sunlight, helping the spices retain their flavour and aroma. And this explains the origin of the name ‘Bottle Masala’ or East Indian Bottle Masala to be precise.
‘Ome Made East Indian Mumbai Masala
East Indian Bottle Masala sometimes gets given the name Mumbai Masala. As I had no intention of selling ‘Ome Made Masala in a glass bottle, I opted to call my version of bottle masala ‘East Indian Mumbai Masala’ instead.
‘Ome Made Mumbai Masala has 53 ingredients. This combination of ingredients gives the Masala a deep, warming, spicy flavour with a little bit of a tingle!
As curry masala goes, our version of Bottle Masala is reasonably spicy. Not blow your head off spicy but a nice warming sensation.
Chillies In East Indian Bottle Masala
The spiciness comes from the liberal amount of Kashmiri chilli it contains, which also gives a lovely vibrant colour. As well as Kashmiri Chilli our East Indian Mumbai Masala has Birdseye, Teja and a tiny amount of Naga chilli to give a rounded chilli heat experience.
Mumbai Masala Has Plenty Of Pepper!
‘Ome Made Mumbai Masala also contains pepper. Eight different types to be precise! Although, technically not all of them are ‘true’ pepper.
Assam, Pondicherry and Tiger are some of the black pepper. Two types of Sichuan type peppers, including Bhutan Lemon Pepper, gathered from the wilds of the Himalayan mountains. The highly prized and flavoursome Cubeb pepper also makes an appearance.
With the chillies and pepper the Bottle Masala really starts to build on complex flavour profiles. Interestingly it also has the ability to accentuate other flavours you add to your curry! So if you add lemon juice the flavour of lemon will be greatly enhanced!
How It’s Made
In the UK drying ingredients in the sun isn’t a very reliable option. Instead we roast ingredients in the oven. Different spices are grouped together and roasted at a very specific temperature for a time until a certain surface temperature is reached. At this temperature we know that the spices are only just beginning to release their precious oils. Heat the spices too much and they will either loose their flavour very quickly or go bitter when ground.
The spices are then cooled completely before being ground and packed in a sealed pouch. This retains as much flavour and aroma as possible.
What To Do With It?
East Indian Mumbai Masala or Bottle Masala can be used as you would any other masala, curry powder or mix powder.
Because the Masala has such a deep, rich and spicy flavour, at the very simplest all you have to do, for a really tasty traditional curry is fry with onion, garlic and ginger before adding your main ingredient, maybe some tomato and liquid.
However it’s also nice to use Bottle Masala in more complex dishes.
I have used it in a Madras which was unbelievably good. It certainly lends itself to big flavours.
It’s also good for long, slow cooked, traditional dishes such as Rogan Josh or Nihari.
Where To Buy Bottle Masala
You can buy the ‘Ome Made version of Bottle Masala here ‘Ome Made East Indian Mumbai Masala
There is also a simple recipe for East Indian Bottle Masala Chicken Curry on the same page.
Try replacing the included masala with ‘Ome Made East Indian Bottle Masala in the following recipes;
If you like big bold flavours in your curry, you really should give this masala a go.
We’d love to see what you cook with it so please feel free to tag Ome_Made in your Insta posts, @Omemade on twitter or post on my Facebook page ‘Ome Made.
If you haven’t already join The Curry Secret group on Facebook. You never know you may win a giveaway of ‘Ome Made goodies!
Keep calm and Curry on!