Madame Masala

Her mysteries and magic

Appears in

Floyd's India

Floyd's India

By Keith Floyd

Published 2001

  • About
There are probably as many versions of masala in Indian cooking as there are sexual positions in the Khama Sutra, if not more... and, like lovemaking, real delight cannot be achieved without tender and exotic foreplay, so it is important to understand the subtlety required to prepare a masala before gorging on the delights of the tangy, spicy, pungent or creamy, fragrant or soft gastronomic sex that is Indian food. And, the base of it all is the masala.
Masala is a mixture of herbs and spices, whole or ground, that give Indian dishes their distinctive flavours when mixed and puréed with water, oil or vinegar, lime or lemon juice. The main spices and herbs in masalas include fresh green chillies, fresh ginger, garlic, red onions or - better still - small red shallots, fresh coriander leaves, fresh mint leaves, curry leaves, bay leaves, salt, hot dried Bird’s Eye chillies, dried black mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds, fenugreek, fennel seeds, star anise, tamarind and turmeric.