Using Our Suvaiyana Spices

Using Our Suvaiyana Spices

We have tried to cover a wide range of flavors be they starkly different or with subtle differences. A common question I have been asked is what differentiates North Indian Spices from South Indian spices

For starters, North Indian spices are made with sweeter spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove and such like whereas South Indian spices are usually require earthy spices such as cumin, coriander and pepper.  They each have very distinctive flavors and are easily distinguishable. However, among the north Indian spices, for instance garam masala vs biryani masala, there are subtle yet very distinctive differences, both in the proportions of the spices even if there is a good overlap of spices used in both.

Here is a list of our spices and how we use them with links to recipes from our blog.Let’s start at the South and work our way up north. In our list of South Indian spices are Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder, South Indian Garam Masala, Chennai Curry Powder and Molaga Podi, and the Madras Thadka Mix

Suvaiyana Madras Tadka Mix

Suvaiyana Sambar Powder


Sambar, a lentil and tomato based stew is the most popular dish in Southern India especially in the state of  Tamil Nadu. The powder is what gives the lentil and tomato the flavors of the Sambar. A coriander and lentil based powder, this can be used to make not only Sambar but if you run out of our Chennai Curry Powder, this would be a substitute even if there are express differences in the composition of the two powders. I use this and many other spices for spicing up my eggs, in my veggie casseroles, in fritter batter and so on.

Links to some recipes prepared with Sambar Powder
Suvaiyana Sambar Powder



Suvaiyana Rasam Powder


Another staple South Indian soup, a version of the Mullagatawny soup is a tomato based soup and very easy to prepare… with Suvaiyana’s Rasam powder. While each packet has instructions and codes leading to our website, All you need is 2-4 ripe tomatoes (or 1 diced tomato can with no added flavors) 1-2 tsp of rasam powder (depending on how much heat you like). Grind the cooked tomatoes and Rasam powder and salt to your discretion and let it come to boil. Temper it with the Madras Tadka Mix and finely chopped garlic (1-2 cloves) in butter (for added fragrance) or oil of choice


Suvaiyana Tadka Mix


This is a mixture of all ingredients used to temper South Indian food, namely, mustard cumin, red chilies and asafetida and in some cases urad dal. This is an essential with Rasam, Sambar, South Indian Garam Masala and Chennai Curry Powder. All South Indian and north Indian food is usually tempered at the very end.What this does is brings together all the flavors and the dish as a whole. We even temper rice varieties which are made in the South Indian style.


South Indian Garam Masala  (SIGM)


In the south, we have a dish known as Kootu or stew. This is usually a combination of vegetables and lentils. They are cooked together or separately and brought together along with certain spices and often coconut milk or ground coconut.

Suvaiyana South Indian Garam Masala, a mixture of heartily spices such as coriander pepper cumin etc captures all the flavors that a kootu requires and with just a teaspoon or two of this mix, you can make yourself a fantastic Kootu. Using the Tadka Mix at the very end for aroma and blending of all the flavors is a must  for those who know and highly recommended.

Ingredients: Coriander, Cumin, Red chili Black Pepper Ginger, Asafoetida

Chow Chow Carrot Kootu (Chayote Squash Stew)

North Indian Garam Masala (NIGM)


The flavors of the north vastly differ from the flavors of the South in that they tend to use sweeter spices such as cinnamon, cardamom cloves etc. NIGM gives you the perfect flavoring for any gravy be it for vegetables or for meat (not that I know much about that, but I have seen recipes calling for similar spices for chicken, lamb etc). Here are some recipes using this spice mix – the results have always been profoundly successful.

Muttar Paneer (Without Cream)


Suvaiyana Pulao Mix


This is by far the easiest spice to use.  Use Rice, Quinoa or any grain of your choice. Wash and drain in colander. If you are using veggies, dice them appropriately.

Take a frying pan and heat 1 tablespoon of butter or oil of your choice. Add the rice and veggies and 1/2 -1 tsp of pulao mix (1 tsp for 1.5 cups of rice would be a good yardstick to follow). allow the rice to crispen a bit. Transfer from pan to rice cooker. Once it has been cooked, add caramelized onions to the top for garnish along with some roasted cashews and Ta-dah!


Suvaiyana Chennai Curry Powder


Another easy peasy powder to use to make the most fantastic dry curries ever! Chop any vegetable of your choice in any shape. In a frying pan, add oil and splutter 1 tsp of Suvaiyana Tadka Mix. When the mustard has spluttered, add your veggie and stir in. Now add 1-2 tsp of Suvaiyana Chennai Curry Powder along with desired amount of salt and stir in – keep covered to cook for 2 -3 minutes. If this is not  green veggie as in if  its a root veggie, allow it to cook for longer covered. Open the lid and stir and add more oil to crispen the vegetable to your satisfaction. I use it for practically any dry vegetable made the south Indian way.


Suvaiyana The REAL Chail Masala


Another exquisitely fragrant spice which fulfills the promise of the authentic Indian chai.

All you need to do is add literally a pinch of it to a black tea of your choice. Allow them to boil together. Add desired amount of milk/honey or sugar and drink up. With healthful spices such as ginger, this masala has also great comforting properties on a cold autumn day such as today :)

Suvaiyana Molaga Podi


To the Tamil pundits, my pronunciation of Molaga might be offensive – Chili in Tamil is Milagai but that is not how it is pronounced colloquially … and Podi means powder in Tamil So molaga podi means chili powder, except its not! It has a whole bunch of other ingredients besides chilies which is why I classify it as a condiment, to be used in any which way you want. It is made up of lentils, sesame, and chilies and jaggery and satisfies your palate in more ways than one. Favorite uses for this spice/condiment is with sandwiches, dosas and idlis which are Indian breakfast dishes. House favorites are with cut apples peanut butter and mologa podi and boiled eggs and mayo topped with molaga podi!  More recent discoveries are over popcorn, over fries and  OH SO GOOD with potato, sweet potato and veggie chips.   It’s also great to pep up your yogurt or salad dressings. Ditch ketchup for fries and instead sprinkle a dash of molaga podi, toss it and eat – yum

Spices available at Whole Foods Market, Charlottesville, At the Charlottesville City Market and on line for pick up and local delivery.(delivery charges will be applied)


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