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Authentic Indian Cuisine: 5 Best Tandoori Masala Substitutes

Starting a new recipe only to find out you’re out of tandoori masala can be a real bummer, right?

Gosh, we’ve all been there, rummaging through our kitchens, hoping it magically appears.

But here’s the kicker: you don’t actually need to halt your cooking escapades.

Yep, you read that right. We’ve got some killer substitutes that’ll save your dish and maybe, just maybe, make it even tastier.

No more pausing your playlist and running to the store.

Stick with us, and you’ll learn how to swap it like a pro. Trust us, your palate won’t know the difference, and that dinner plan? It’s still on.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tandoori Masala

If you’re not able to find tandoori masala, don’t worry.

There are several substitutes that will work just as well in your recipe.

Here are the five best substitutes for the tandoori masala:

1 – Mix of Garam Masala and Cayenne Peppers

mix of garam masala and cayenne peppers

When it comes to spice, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Some people like their food so spicy it makes their eyes water, while others prefer a more mild flavor.

For those who like it hot, a mix of garam masala and cayenne peppers is the perfect way to add some extra zing to your meal.

Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice blend that typically includes cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper.

Cayenne pepper is a chili pepper with a sharp, biting taste.

Together, these two spices can give your food a real kick.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add a little extra cayenne pepper to heat things.

Just be warned – this spice mix is not for the faint of heart.

2 – Madras Curry Powder

madras curry powder

Madras curry powder is a blend of spices originating from the city of Madras in India.

The spices used in the powder vary depending on the region and the cook but typically include chili pepper, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.

Madras curry powder has a distinctive flavor that is both earthy and fiery, with a touch of sweetness.

It is commonly used to flavor meats, vegetables, and rice dishes.

While Madras curry powder is widely available in supermarkets, it is also easy to make at home.

By blending your own spices, you can create a powder tailored to your taste preferences.

3 – Vindaloo Curry Powder

vindaloo curry powder

If you’re looking for a curry powder that packs a punch, look no further than vindaloo curry powder.

Named for the popular Indian dish, vindaloo curry is known for its fiery flavor and intense spice.

The key ingredient in vindaloo curry powder is black pepper, which gives the powder its signature heat.

Other spices in vindaloo curry powder include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili peppers.

While the exact blend of spices can vary depending on the manufacturer, most vindaloo curry powders are spicy.

If you’re not a fan of heat, you may want to start with a milder curry powder.

However, vindaloo curry powder is the way to go if you’re looking for an authentic Indian flavor.

4 – Tikka Masala Powder

tikka masala powder

Tikka Masala powder is a fragrant, flavorful spice blend from India.

It is typically made with a combination of cumin, coriander, paprika, and chili powder, though the exact spices used can vary depending on the region.

Tikka Masala powder is commonly used to flavor chicken, lamb, and seafood dishes.

It can also be added to rice or used as a dry rub for meats.

Whether you are looking to add a bit of heat to your meals or want to explore the rich flavors of Indian cuisine, Tikka Masala powder is a great place to start.

5 – Ras el Hanout

ras el hanout

Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that translates to “head of the shop.

” This potent mix typically includes a wide variety of spices, including cloves, cinnamon, and cumin.

While the exact ingredients vary depending on the particular blend, ras el hanout is always packed with flavor.

The spice blend is commonly used in Moroccan cuisine, particularly in stews and curries.

However, it can also be used to add flavor to rice, vegetables, and even grilled meats.

This versatile spice blend is a great substitute for tandoori masala.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tandoori Masala

Looking for the ideal substitutes for tandoori masala? Your search ends here! Explore our curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace the rich flavors of tandoori masala in your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Mix of Garam Masala and Cayenne Peppers
  • Madras Curry Powder
  • Vindaloo Curry Powder
  • Tikka Masala Powder
  • Ras el Hanout


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for tandoori masala
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