Posted in Foodstuffs

Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand

Kissan Tandoori Masala 01

Not long ago, a visitor from down south brought my wife a ‘care package’ of various Indian food products which included the commercial Tandoori spice blend you see pictured above. I have not come across this particular brand before and I thought I might test it with a very simple Tandoori Chicken preparation on my barbecue…

The powdered blend is not as vivid a bright red as some other commercial preparations, but it does contain a coloring agent and this is apparent if you get it on your hands as it does stain them for some time afterwards. The ingredients list specifies ‘spices’ along with ‘garlic powder’ and ‘onion powder’, and it is these last two which dominate the aroma when one opens the container. There is a vague, faint hint of coriander seed behind the garlic but, in the main, just the fragrance alone marks this as a less rich and complex blend than, say, the Sharwood’s or Patak’s  products. On tasting the raw powder, the garlic presence is still apparent but the dominant component is now the pungency of chili.

Kissan Tandoori Masala 02

The container label gives a simple recipe for doing Tandoori chicken and instructs one to mix the powder with yoghurt and then marinate the chicken in this mix for several hours before grilling or baking. I am going simpler still… I slashed chicken legs in a few places, rubbed them with a bit of lemon juice, salt and oil, and then just rubbed the masala over the skin and meat. I allowed a marinating time of just over 5 hours.

Kissan Tandoori Masala 03

I grilled the chicken over a low flame for about 25 minutes and then gave it a last few minutes on the hottest part of the grill, basting with just a little oil and turning it a couple of times.

The Verdict

Well, I wasn’t expecting much from this Masala at first but it really wasn’t that bad. Quite honestly, it didn’t taste very much like a typical Tandoori blend (the taste of cumin was noticeably absent) but it was still pleasant and quite subtle. I’m not sure I would buy it, myself, and certainly not for doing a recognizable Tandoori dish, but I can see that it might have its uses at those times when you just want a quick (and fairly mild) spice blend on hand without the trouble of making something yourself…



I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

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