Balti Spice Mix

Joined May 28, 2015
Balti is a type of Kashmiri curry which originated in an area which is now Northern Pakistan. It became established in the UK in the '70's in Birmingham. Its generally speaking a quick cooked curry - but of course, you need the spice mix to hand. Its usually cooked in a flat bottomed wok like dish know as a karahi or balti dish, but you can use a non-stick frying pan. Here's my recipe. Don't worry if you can't obtain all the ingredients. There is no definitive Balti Spice Mix. You can add or subtract spices to taste.


Balti Spice Mix.
Whole Spices:
4 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
One stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
1 Tbsp green cardamom seeds
1 Tbsp lovage seeds (Aijwan seeds)
1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp kalonji (black onion seeds)
6 cloves or 2 pieces of mace

Ground Spices:
4 tsp turmeric
4 tsp hot chilli powder (or to taste)

  • Put all the whole spices into a dry hot frying pan and cook over a high heat until the spices emit a distinctive odour and just begin to pop. Do not burn!
  • Grind the roast spices (I use a spice grinder but you can use a pestle and mortar)
  • Mix in the ground spices.
Keep in a jar for up to there months. This mix should be enough to make 4 curries for two people. To use the spice mix, add just enough water to make a thick paste. The paste is then fried in oil or ghee, usually with onions, garlic and ginger, before adding the main ingredients of the curry.
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