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11 Chaat Masala Substitutes You Definitely Want To Use

The truth of the world is that the introduction of spices to the culinary process has made it possible to enjoy food at an unimaginable level. Not only do spices give a unique taste to the food in front of you, but the aroma that comes with it is also nothing short of satisfactory. Chaat masala substitute is one such spice that provides all in one and much more.

Chaat masala can only be described as a spicy, funky yet salty spice blend that transforms all foods from ordinary bland taste to the best chaat dishes.

Chaat masala, originally from South Asia, is a blend made to add flavor to chaat. It contains several spice blends with amchoor (mango powder), coriander, black salt, red chili, and cumin.

It is the perfect addition to traditional chaat recipes such as panipuri and papri chaat. However, over time it has gotten a few more uses.

It is more commonly used in vegetables or used as a spice for several foods and even over fruit to give it a tangy or spicy taste.

Still, apart from Chaat masala, there are several other substitutes in the food industry that will work as excellent chaat masala substitutes. 

Quick Table: Chaat Masala Substitutes

Nutrition Value TableCalories (Per 100g)
Garam Masala354
Tikka Masala160
Curry Powder325
Sambhar Masala325
Indian Seasoning103
Tandoori Masala220
Ras El Hanout425

1. Garam Masala

Garam masala is undoubtedly one of the most popular types of Indian spice. Versatile, just like Chaat masala, it can be used to cook an array of dishes and bring out a flavor that will make it enjoyable to eat.

Garam masala is a blend of different dried spices, with the most common ones being cardamoms, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

The spices are often toasted to make the perfect blend, after which they are ground into fine powder.

Garam masala, for most recipes, can be added at any stage, with most people including it at the very beginning, as the dish can get the zingy and aromatic flavor from the word go.

When seeking to also make for some thick soup, garam masala works great to add punch to it.

How To Substitute

Garam masala is the perfect substitute for chaat masala as it has most of the spices found in chaat masala. However, when substituting, adding more red peppers is necessary to make it a bit spicier, as garam masala is a tad bit milder than a chaat masala substitute. If you add a pinch of mango powder, then the substitution works just as chaat masala.

2. Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala, also known as chicken tikka masala, is just as perfect as a chaat masala substitute. It is used as a traditional spice in most south Asian countries and has a particularly strong smell.

The spice blend shares some of the obligatory spices used in chaat masalas, such as black pepper, amchoor, and red chili powder, and some recipes even include dried mango powder.

How To Substitute

When substituting chaat masala with tikka masala, it’s essential to start little by little, as tikka masala can overwhelm the food very fast. Still, keeping an eye on the ingredients used in the tikka masala blend is vital. Still, you might want to stick to using tikka masala for some dishes as it will not work as great for some of the recipes that call for chaat masala.

3. Curry Powder

It would be surprising to find people who love cooking who do not have curry powder in their homes. Curry powder originates in England but uses mostly Indian spices to get the blend. 

Like garam masala, curry powder has most of the spice blends in chaat masala. However, it also has a distinct yellow color to it that will make a meal turn yellow. Its aroma and mild taste make for a great spice.

How To Substitute

Curry powder can be used as a chaat masala substitute since it has most of its blends. It should be used as a secondary option as although it has some of the critical blends, it also has many additional spices that make the spice have a distinct flavor different from Chaat masala. When using it, use generous amounts to ensure the flavor mimics the spiciness of the Chaat masala.

4. Baharat

Baharat masala is one of those few spices that make for a pretty decent Chaat masala substitute, as it has the same deep flavoring. However, the Asian flavoring has different recipes; some may contain dried mint.

To achieve an even higher spiciness, paprika is added to the list of ingredient spices used. The combination will make for a powerful combination that is nothing short of flavored intense aromatic goodness.

Still, the overall taste of the Bharat is on the sweeter side as it lacks a sour flavoring agent making for a spicy sweet flavor. 

How To Substitute

Generally, when substituting Chaat masala with baharat, the only way to add authentic spiciness is by adding some salt and a few chili peppers. Just beware as you will soon know the true meaning of a spicy meal. However, for a more mellow taste that warms the heart, like Chaat masala, add a bit at a time until the flavor tastes just the same. The result is you will use considerably more baharat than Chaat masala.

RELATED: The Best Alternatives To Annatto Powder For Flavor, Color, and Spice

5. Allspice 

chaat masala substitute 7

Allspice seasoning has a unique taste to it, whereby it is sour yet also earthy and fruity, making it one of the closest chaat masala substitutes. 

The spice blend is also known as the Jamaican pepper and comes from a native mid-canopy tree also found in Central America and southern Mexico and can be cultivated in warmer parts of the world.

How To Substitute

The substitution of allspice and Chaat masala is done on a ratio of one to one as the flavoring, and ultimate taste are similar. However, you will need to add some chili and salt to dampen the sweetness of the allspice.

6. Sambhar Masala

chaat masala substitute 6

Sambhar is that Chaat masala substitute that will definitely save your dish and add just the right amount of spiciness and flavor to it. 

The blend simply comprises coriander seeds, cumin, red chilies, and curry leaves as the main ingredients. The outcome is a sweet-savory smell and taste that makes for one of the best curries. 

How To Substitute

It’s easy to use sambhar masala as a Chaat masala substitute as the combination of spices is a perfect combination and tastes similar to allspice seasoning. You will need to add a few more ingredients like mango powder and salt, as no recipe uses it. Still, when substituting, use a one-to-one ratio and expect a delicious, pleasant aroma.

7. Indian Seasoning

chaat masala substitute 5

An Indian seasoning dish that has its roots in south Asia is the Butter chicken. Butter chicken is also known as murgh makhani. It is a long-standing seasoning used on numerous dishes but specializes in making some of the tastiest chicken parts.

The curry is made from chicken with a lot of spiced tomatoes to get that saucy-rich texture when all is done.

The result is a savory-sweet and sour paste that mimics chicken Tikka that also uses tomato as one of its ingredients.  Some other spices that make the blend include fresh ginger, lemon juice, and yogurt.

How To Substitute

Substituting Chaat masala with Indian butter chicken is easy as it can be done without having to tweak the recipe (use the exact measurements). The taste is refreshing, red, and all-around juicy – the dish is nothing but fantastic.

8. Tandoori Masala

chaat masala substitute 4

Tandoori Masala, just like Chaat masala, can transform any dish and bring out the best flavor that will make you lick your fingers.

The blend is made from an array of spices from ingredients that can be found in almost every kitchen, such as nutmeg powder, garlic, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorn.

The secret to this masala is Kasthhri methi, better known as fenugreek, found in India. The result is a peppery aroma that has both sweet and bitter smells.

The blend is perfect for making prawns, chicken, and fish. It can also be used in salad dressing.

How To Substitute

When substituting for Chaat masala, it’s essential to just use a pinch of the blend and get some burst of the best flavors. It is also versatile, as it can be used in many dishes. When substituting, use three-quarters of the required measurement of Chaat masala to get the unique Indian-style flavor. When making homemade tandoori, ensure to use only the best quality ingredients to get the desired outcome.

9. Berbere

chaat masala substitute 3

Berbere is another traditional spice blend that can work as an excellent Chaat masala substitute.
The savory blend has roots in Ethiopia and is often described as a profoundly flavored seasoning. The ingredients in the dish are similar to Bharat.

Although spicy, it is on the milder side as the recipe calls for the use of black peppercorns and black pepper, while chaat masala uses red chili.

However, some spicier blend recipes call for fenugreek, red chili, and ginger with some additional exotic ingredients.

How To Substitute

The first step is to look closely at the ingredients and make sure the recipe uses black pepper, cumin, coriander, and amchoor. If it has all that, you will want to use it in a ratio of one to one and add a bit of red chili.

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10. Ras El Hanout

chaat masala substitute 1

Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that is primarily similar to berbere but can also be used as a Chaat masala substitute.  Unlike most blend spices in this list, Ras El Hanout is surprisingly tangy flavored and has a warm feel to it. 

Its uses are diverse as it can be used as the main marinating spice for grilling meat. The spice is also added to salads and tagines as it adds a touch of flavor.

How To Substitute

The original Ras el hanout recipe has a lot of chilies in it and is often used as a substitute for Chaat masala.  When substituting for Chaat masala, use it on a ratio of one to one but ensure to add a pinch of cinnamon to the blend and get a sweet taste. Watch out for the measurement as it can be overpowering to someone not used to spicy dishes.

11. Tsire

chaat masala substitute

Tsire, also known as suya, is an African original spice blend from Northern Nigeria. Some other blends have their roots in Ethiopia. 

There are many ways tsire has been described, but it is overall a very mild to spicy flavor that mimics chaat masala closely. The main ingredients typically include cloves, cardamom con, nutmeg, ginger, and red chili.

How To Substitute

The flavor of tsire is savory and mild, although the spiciness highly depends on the amount of red chili used. When using, adding water to the blend is essential to make a paste-like consistency before adding it to your dish. Substitute to a ratio of one to one, but for a more in-depth flavor, you might want to add a pinch of store-bought mango powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Of The Common Ingredients Found In Chaat Masala Substitutes?

Common ingredients in Chaat masala substitutes are ginger, cumin, chili, and black pepper.

Which Dishes Can You Flavor With Chaat Masala Substitutes?

Chaat masala substitutes work as spices for cooking and sprinkling over food for added flavor. They are mainly used for dishes, including chicken, beef, fish, prawns, and vegetables.

How Do You Store Most Chaat Masala Substitutes?         

Some of the major chaat masala substitutes are powdery. That means that they get dispersed easily when left open and it is vital to be kept in an airtight container in a cool place. However, do not place these powders in a refrigerator.

How Do Most Chaat Masala Substitutes Last?

As highlighted earlier, most chat masala substitutes are powders. Most of them can stay flavorful for up to a year, depending on the temperature and quality of the ingredients used.

11 Chaat Masala Substitutes You Definitely Want To Use  

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Although spicy, it is on the milder side as the recipe calls for the use of black peppercorns and black pepper, while chaat masala uses red chili.


  • Garam Masala

  • Tikka Masala

  • Curry Powder

  • Baharat

  • Allspice

  • Sambhar Masala

  • Indian Seasoning

  • Tandoori Masala

  • Berbere

  • Ras El Hanout

  • Tsire


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith
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Saturday 13th of May 2023

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