I love making different kinds of Indian Masala in my cooking. Though there are boxes of readymade masalas in my pantry but making your own masala from scratch is something very appealing to me. Reason being you can adjust the taste accordingly and foremost control the level of salt in this masala.
Like garam masala , Achari masala can be used for pickles, grilling & also making curries. Next to garam masala , this is a very versatile masala. Achari masala is a combination of different spices like Achari masala is a combination of different spices like cumin, whole red chilly, coriander seeds, fennel or aniseed, nigella sativa (Kalaungi), turmeric powder, mustard seeds (rai), fenugreek seeds & souring agent. There are some pointers for preparing Achari Masala. First of all the spice level can be adjusted. If you like more spicy food add up more whole chilly & vice a versa. Secondly many souring agents can be substituted for other. Souring agents like amchur (dried mango powder), citric acid (neebu ka phool or tartari), tamarind , dried kokum (Garcinia indica) & also lemon. Though my personal favorite is lemon which is added separately according to use.
Mostly I use this masala for making curries & for marination of chicken or paneer. In both cases either tomato or yogurt is added. To balance this sourness, I don’t add souring agents in achari masala. Mostly add a few drops of lemon accordingly. In the Achari masala recipe I have mentioned the quantity of souring agent to avoid confusion. It can be stored at room temperature for a year in an airtight bottle.