Masala is a term you hear all of the time when discussing curry ingredients, but it is often misunderstood. It simply means a mix of spices so there are many different types of masala. We have made a list below of all those we could identify for you...
The Curry Culture Guide to Different Types of Masala
Masala (Massala) - An Introduction
So a masala is not a curry, it's an ingredient or in fact it's a mixture of spices. The word itself is often used in a description such as "Chicken Tikka Masala" or "Garam Masala" (a hot spice mixture) or Chaat Masala (another spice mixture made for side dishes such as Aloo Chaat). You can't really get anywhere with the word on it's own either because to simply ask for a Masala doesn't make sense. It's just like asking for a mixture but not saying what it's for.
It can be a dry powdery mix or a paste but eithe way it's going to have a range of different spices and ingredients depending on it's use.
Perhaps the most famous of them all is Garam Masala or Hot Spice Mix - Garam meaning hot in Hindi. This general spice mix comes in many types, is commercially produced and is widely available. You can easily make it yourself at home if you have a spice grinder and every chef, restaurant or home cook is going to have their own recipe.
The basic building blocks of Grama Masala are cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds, black peppercornd, cumin and coriander.
This shouldn't be on this list because this is a curry that was created for UK diners. But for the sake of completeness I've added it. Head over the to Types of Curry page to see what's in a Tikka Masala...