Subtle, sweet and uniquely delicious, this Maharashtrian Goda Masala recipe will lend tasty complexity to everything from sautéed veggies and rice to lentils and curries. This aromatic spice blend is the quintessential masala for the state of Maharashtra, and can be found in dishes such as Masale Bhat or Matki Amti.
Table of Contents
About Goda Masala
Goda masala is a special spice blend unique to Maharashtrian cuisine. The spices used here are aromatic, and lend a subtle sweet aroma without hints of pungency or heat. I usually make a small batch at a time (about 100 grams) and then add to my everyday cooking.
Goda or god (pronounced “goad-AH”) means “sweet” in marathi. As such, this is sometimes referred to as sweet masala. However, it should be noted that goda masala is sweet in aroma, not in taste.
This aromatic spice blend is added to many Maharashtrian dishes comprising of veggies, lentils and rice. A few recipes that always use goda masala are: Tendli Bhaat, Bharli Bhendi, Amti, Bharli Vangi, and Katachi Amti.
I also make Garam Masala, which is added to the usual Punjabi or North Indian food I prepare. I prefer to make my own dry masalas at home like Sambar Powder, Bisi Bele Bath Powder, Pav Bhaji Masala, Biryani Masala, Coriander Powder etc.
These small batches of homemade masalas are much more potent than the store bought kind, because whole spices retain more of their essential oils. Once you try making your own homemade masalas, you’ll see and taste the difference for yourself.
Each Maharashtrian household has their own signature recipe for goda masala and the proportions of the spices vary from home to home.
This tried and true recipe is the one I always turn to. Even when I add just 2 to 3 teaspoons to a recipe, it changes the flavor and taste for the better.
The food we grow up eating always retain a deep impression on our psyche, and no matter where we are, we always long back to go to our roots. I hope that this delicious goda masala helps you get back to yours!
Kala Masala vs Goda Masala
Aside from goda masala, there are two more spice mixes that are unique to Maharashtrian food. One is kanda lahsun masala (onion garlic masala) and the other is kala masala (black masala). Kala masala and goda masala are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different.
For more clarification, I asked my Maharastrian friend about the difference between kala masala and goda masala. She said that in kala masala she adds onions, but the rest of the spices and ingredients are same.
The onions for kala masala are sliced and then sun dried. Once they become crisp, she sautés them in oil till they turn golden. They become so crispy and dry that if you break or snap them, they turn to powder.
She also said that the other spices and coconut get more deeply roasted in kala masala, which lends a darker hue. This extra roasting also helps in giving a longer shelf life to the masala and gives a really good aroma, depth and flavor.
The fried onions also give the kala masala a darker, brownish-black color than goda masala. It should come as no shock that the name kala means “black” in Marathi!
As a yearly ritual, my friend makes about 2.5 to 3 kilos of each kala masala and the Maharashtrian garam masala during the summers.
These masalas last her for a year. The spices are roasted in oil and then given to a mill where they grind spices in bulk. Isn’t that wonderful?
I usually make a small batch which gives about 80 to 100 grams of this masala. This much works for me – as I make recipes that need this spice blend sometimes and not everyday.
I recommend this recipe – which yields about 250 grams of goda masala – for home cooks who are new to this spice blend, but want enough in the cupboard to stretch for awhile.
Please note that each ingredient is roasted – separately – on a low heat. I recommend you do this as well, as the spices roast at different speeds; if you try roasting them together, some will likely end up burned.
You will need to spare a good 1 hour to make this masala, so clear your schedule. I promise it will be worth the effort!
Few Unique Ingredients
If your only exposure to masalas thus far has been with spicy garam masala, this goda masala recipe is going to taste and feel quite different.
Here are some of the ingredients that contribute to this delicious spice mix’s unique flavor:
- Stone Flower (Parmotrema Perlatum). Also known as rock flower in English, or kalpasi or patthar ke phool in Hindi. In Marathi, it is known as dagad phool. It should be noted that this culinary lichen doesn’t have much flavor when raw, but releases a smoky, earthy, somewhat astringent flavor when it comes in contact with heat. As such, you should always roast or fry kalpasi using proper technique.
- Cobra’s Saffron (Mesua Ferrea), is also known as ceylon ironwood in English. It is called Nagkesar in Hindi and Nagkeshar in Marathi. This herb is also used in Ayurvedic medicines, and has a citrusy-woodsy flavor.
- Desiccated coconut and sesame seeds also impart a great deal of flavor, lending a sweet, nutty flavor to the masala.
- Small black seeds known as Niger seeds (not to be confused with nigella seeds), are also an ineffable flavor of this delightful spice mix. They are also called karale or khurasni in Marathi, and ramtil in Hindi. A dry chutney can also be made using these sweetly aromatic and nutty flavored seeds.
Note: Some varieties of niger seeds can be bitter; if you have bitter niger seeds, then please do not add them in the recipe. Bitter tasting niger seeds can be toxic. I can promise that the goda masala turns out fabulously without them, too.
Depending on where you live, you may not be able to easily source stone flower, cobra’s saffron and niger seeds.
To get an authentic goda masala, I would suggest not to skip stone flower (dagad phool), but if needed you may skip nagkeshar/cobra’s saffron and niger seeds.
I usually add desiccated coconut flakes to goda masala. For another interpretation, my friend suggests that it is best to use dried coconut shells.
You grate the dried coconut shell and then roast them, which gives a more intense flavor than using desiccated coconut flakes.
How to make Goda Masala
Before you begin roasting the spices, measure and gather all your ingredients and set them aside. Use a small-sized but heavy frying pan or skillet.
Do stir often when roasting these delicate spices and tiny seeds, so that they cook evenly and do not get burnt.
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of neutral flavored oil in a pan.
2. Add 8 tablespoons coriander seeds. Stir often on low heat and roast them till they become fragrant and change color. Remove to a plate.
3. Then add 2 tablespoons cumin seeds. Again stir on low heat and roast them till they are fragrant and they change color. Remove to the same plate.
4. Next add 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds and follow the same method of roasting until fragrant.
5. Now add 3 teaspoons of niger seeds (karale). These are wonderfully fragrant and should be roasted very lightly until you can smell them.
Tip: Remember not to over-do the roasting as it can make these seeds taste bitter.
Note: If you cannot source or get niger seeds, then skip adding them.
6. Next to go are 7 tablespoons sesame seeds; roast till they crackle and change color. Keep on stirring so that the color is uniform.
7. Once done, remove and keep aside on the same plate as all the other ingredients.
8. Roast 6 tablespoons desiccated coconut till golden. You will have to continuously stir to get a uniform color.
If you prefer a darker color, you can roast a tad more than what I have done.
9. Add 4 to 5 broken dry red chilies and roast till they have a smoky, pungent fragrance. You can deseed the chilies if you prefer a milder masala, or omit them altogether.
10. Add ¼ teaspoon asafoetida and dry roast till fragrant – this takes a few seconds. Remember to keep heat low if using a heavy pan or skillet.
If your pan is not heavy or sturdy, then turn off heat. Add asafoetida and roast it.
11. Again heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the pan.
12. Now add all the below listed fragrant spices:
- 4 to 5 pieces of 1 inch cinnamon sticks
- 7 to 8 small-sized tej patta
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 to 4 star anise
- 25 cloves
- seeds from 4 black cardamoms
- 5 to 6 green cardamoms
- 1 teaspoon cobra’s saffron (nagkesar)
- 3 tablespoons of stone flower (dagad phool or patthar ke phool)
On low heat, roast till the spices become aromatic, about a minute. Set aside.
Make Goda Masala
13. Let all the spices and the rest of the other ingredients cool.
14. In a mixer-grinder or coffee-grinder or spice-grinder, grind everything in batches. I ground in two batches, but if you have a small grinder, then you will have to grind in 4 to 5 batches.
Because of the oil present in the spices and sesame seeds, you will have to scrape the sides and then continue to grind as needed.
15. Take the ground goda masala in a bowl and mix everything well. If the masala is warm due to the mixer-grinder being heated up, then let it cool completely.
16. Store the Goda Masala in a clean, airtight jar. You can keep at room temperature for about 1 to 2 months or in the refrigerator for up-to 6 months.
I have read that some people don’t add coconut to goda masala as it reduces shelf life. However, the friend I told you about says that the shelf life does not get reduced by adding coconut. Since she makes 2+ kilogram batches in bulk she knows better than me!
According to her, if the coconut is roasted really well, then the goda masala or kala masala has a good shelf life. She keeps the masalas at room temperature and says they stay good for a full year.
I don’t recommend that you do. Coconut is an essential flavor here – it offers sweetness and nuttiness that goda masala depends on.
If you have an allergy to sesame, you can omit them. However, there is not a good replacement.
You can add two medium sized onions, or about ¾ to 1 cup of thinly sliced onions. Slice them thinly and sun dry them; once they become sun-crisped, fry them in a tablespoon or two of neutral oil till golden. Then cool and grind them with the spices.
In goda masala, the spices are always roasted, to release their essential oils and give greater flavor. You can sun-dry the whole spices, but be sure to roast the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, niger seeds, hing and desiccated coconut.
No, there should be some residual oil left over between ingredients. I suggest you only add as instructed.
In my book, yes. That said, remember that there are at least as many recipes for this masala as there are families in India! Personal preferences, family histories and even regional variations will exist between them.
More Homemade Spice Blends!
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Goda Masala Recipe
- 8 tablespoons coriander seeds – 40 to 45 grams or about ¾ cup
- 6 tablespoons desiccated coconut – unsweetened, 40 grams or ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
- 7 tablespoons white sesame seeds – 55 to 60 grams
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
- 3 tablespoons stone flower (pathar phool, dagad phool)
- ½ tablespoon poppy seeds (khus khus), optional
- 4 to 5 dry red chilies – you can use byadagi or bedgi chilies or kashmiri red chilies
- 3 teaspoons niger seeds (ramtil, khurasni, karala), optional
- 1 teaspoon nag kesar (cobra's saffron), optional
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 25 cloves or about ¾ to 1 tablespoon
- 4 to 5 pieces of 1 inch cinnamon sticks
- 4 black cardamoms – seeds removed and kept aside, husks discarded
- 5 to 6 green cardamoms
- 7 to 8 tej patta small-sized, (tamal patra) or 4 to 5 medium-sized tej patta
- 3 to 4 star anise
- 1.5 teaspoons turmeric powder – optional
- ¼ teaspoon asafoedita (hing), optional
- 2 teaspoons oil
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy small frying pan or skillet.
- Add coriander seeds. On low heat stir often and roast them till they become fragrant and they change color. Remove in a plate.
- Then add cumin seeds. Again stir and roast on low heat them till they are fragrant and they change color. Remove in the same plate.
- Next add caraway seeds and follow the same procedure.
- Now add the niger seeds/karale. These are wonderfully fragrant. Just roast them till they become fragrant.
- Add sesame seeds. Roast till they crackle and change color. Keep on stirring so that there is even roasting. Takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes on a low heat.
- Once done, then like all the other roasted ingredients, remove and keep aside in the same plate.
- Roast the desiccated coconut till they are golden. You will have to continuously stir to get a uniform golden color.
- If adding poppy seeds, add them now and roast till they are fragrant. Remove aside.
- Add the broken dry red chilies and roast till they have a smoky pungent fragrance. Before roasting, you can deseed the chilies if you prefer.
- Add asafoetida and dry roast till they get fragrant. This takes a few seconds. Remove and set aside.
- Again heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan. Now add all the aromatic spices – cinnamon, bay leaf, black pepper, star anise, cloves, black cardamom seeds, green cardamom, cobra's saffron (nagkesar), stone flower (dagad phool or patthar ke phool).
- On low heat, roast till the spices become fragrant. This takes about a minute.
Making goda masala
- Let all the spices and the rest of the other ingredients cool.
- In a dry grinder, grind everything in batches. I ground in two batches, so that the grinder does not have a overload. If you have a small grinder, then you will have to grind in 4 to 5 batches. While grinding due to the oil, you will have to scrape the sides and then continue to grind.
- Take the ground goda masala in a bowl and mix everything well.
- Then store the goda masala in an airtight jar. You can keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Niger Seeds: Do not roast the niger seeds too much as they turn bitter. This would result in the goda masala tasting bitter. The niger seeds I get here have a nutty taste and are not bitter. If your niger seeds taste bitter, then do not use them as bitter seeds can be toxic.
- Optional ingredients: From the list of the spices used in the recipe, feel free to omit poppy seeds, niger seeds, cobra’s saffron and stone flower. Still I would suggest not to omit stone flower and if possible you can buy them online.
- Roasting: Use a heavy frying pan or skillet, so that the spices are roasted evenly and do not get too much browned or burnt. Also remember to stir often when roasting the ingredients.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Goda Masala recipe from the archives first published in July 2014 has been updated and republished on January 2023.
We all love this one. My friend now likes veggies and salad. I’ve made a few modifications. Delish. Question: WHAT HAPPEN TO MY FAVORITES? It took a while to isolate the ones i would like to try and/or make again.
Thank you. The favorites will be saved unless your ip location or browser changes.
Thank you for the details. It is great to get the details. That is where it makes it different from the others.
Thank you and glad to know that the details are helpful.
Very good recipe, my naani was from Maharashtra and she used to make this masala, I never knew it’s Goda masala and why we could never had same taste in the food since she was gone, I’m gonna make this as a tribute to her, thank you so much for this recipe… 🤗🥰
Thank you and welcome. I hope you like the recipe.
I have an 1893 Marathi recipe traditional cookbook “Paak Darpan”, please let me know if you want it
Hi,tried some of your recipes which turned out quite delicious. My grand kids enjoy the Maharshtrian dishes.While preparing the goda masala is it okay not to use coconut? Wanted to prepare had to go hunting for items like nag kesar,niger seeds. Many do not know? Thank you
thanks nancy for this lovely comment. coconut is an essential ingredient in goda masala. so i would not suggest skipping it. but you can skip nagkesar and niger seeds. hope this helps.
We do not add the desiccated coconut to the masala, and instead use fresh coconut while preparing a dish.
wow, traditional masala made with so much of efforts,really going back to the roots is so rewarding
yes of course. thanks grishma.
Hi, I have tried some of your recipes and they all turn out wonderful! I want to prepare goda masala,without sesame as my son is allergic to it. Is there any substitutes to it? Thanks!
thanks shubha. there is no substitute for sesame seeds. so you will have to skip altogether.
What if I want to add onions to it? How much onions should I add to it? As I want to make kala masala.
you can add two medium sized onions which will we be about 3/4 to 1 cup of thinly sliced onions. do slice them thinly and sun dry them. once they become cirsp, them fry them in some oil till golden. then cool and grind them with the spices.
Hey. Amazing and wonderful masala. I prepared this and used it in the making chi anti. Omg the that was superb.
Love u for ur recipes. May god bless u dear.
Thanks Jayshree for your positive feedback and best wishes.
Dassana, do the whole spices have to be roasted only? I mean can we sundry them instead?
in goda masala, the spices are always roasted. roasting brings out the flavor of the spices. you can sun dry also, but sun dry only the whole spices. sesame seeds, poppy seeds, niger seeds, hing and desiccated coconut can be roasted dry or in some oil.
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How are 25 clove just 1 tsp? Please let me know the correct quantity.
thanks sonal. its a typo. its 1 tablespoon. have corrected it.
thanx a lot for the suggestion. I shall definitely do it with half of the measuresurements as suggested by you. God bless you. Step by step along with detailed pictures are absolutely amazing . Shows your interest in teaching and really make people understand. DK
Thank you very much durga ji ☺
hello dasanna, would you please suggest as to how I can buy goda masala, and which brand you would suggest as I may not be using it regularly. Thanks, God bless you always. DK
durga ji, avoid buying ready made brands. they are not good. homemade ones are better. i had tried a couple of local brands, but not good at all. you can halve this recipe and skip ingredients like niger seeds and cobra’s saffron, if they are not available where you live.
I just love your blog…Goda masala is like my favourite fr making usal…came across this post and tondala paani sutla…..thanks fr the amazing recipie…will try soon…..
Hi Dassana Amit, I like delicious food to eat as everyone does. I search for good recipes through both cooking books and net, but as spices are an important part of a recipe, I went for spices search and found Maharashtrian goda masala, read it and decided to give it a try. I will make a dish with it, but thanks for your work.
welcome satish. do try. this is a good recipe of goda masala.
i was wondering about the masala. we had a teaspoon of oil and roast coriander seeds and them take them in a plate. Do we add oil again for the next ingredient? or should the next ingredients either be dry roasted or roasted in the residue oil?
thanks saee. no need to add more oil for the next ingredient. there will be some residue oil. so thats kind of enough.
Dear dassana amit.. I don’t know you are a master male chef or a female cookery queen..I just want to let you know you are just wonderful ..I read your every post and the quality of your recipe and your sincere work is worth its lines in gold ..you inspire me beyond imagination .. ..I love you! Respect and love
P.s.I will be honoured to be your protégé in cooking please keep in touch
thanks nukul for your kind and encouraging words. i am a simple home chef and i wish everyone learn simple but tasty home cooking. wish you all the best.
I just made this goda masala. The whole house is filled with its aroma. I could get all the ingredients as I live in mumbai. Thank you so much dear Dasanna. I love your site and love the way you post the recipes.
Blessings and love
welcome sathya. the aroma is too good when we make the goda masala at home. wish you a happy new year.
Hi Dasanna, wish you and your family a very happy new year too! God bless you!
thanks sathya for your best wishes. wishing you and your family a very happy new year.
I have only just discovered your blog and have come to fall in love with it. Thanks for all the lovely recipes and the tips that go with them.
I have tried a few recipes and they have worked out wonderfully.
I was getting together the ingredients to make goda masala , but am confused by niger seeds. Can you tell me if I can obtain it online. I am a resident of Gurgaon and could not find it anywhere here. Will it make a huge difference if I were to omit this spice?
thanks a lot rashmi. you will not get niger seeds in gurgaon. since i have stayed there, i know its difficult to get some stuff there. online too, i have not seen any website selling them. just skip them. most goda masala recipes do not have them. so its alright. but stone flower (patthar ke phool) is a must.
Hi Dassana Amit,
Thanks so much for posting the Goda Masala recipe. I have a Maharashtra Brahmin cook. I asked her about Amti powder and she did not know. When i lived in Belgaum, with my aunt, she used to make Amti and she used to make the masala to add in the recipe. We did not know the masala is called Goda masala and the dal item is called Amti. That’s the confusion. At that time, I did not pay much attention to know about the recipe, as I wasn’t married. Then suddenly I came across ur recipe for Goda masala, while searching for Amti masala. Huh! That’s my story. I love cooking, but unfortunately, I have digestive problems and I cannot eat a lot of things and spices. So I keep looking for some recipes which suit my stomach ailment. Of course Amti with Goda masala is not my cup of tea. But I have other family members for who I love to make some nice dishes. And I love all ur recipes. Thanks again.
thanks lakshmi for sharing your story. according to me both goda masala & amti masala are same but i think there are some recipes made differently too. you can try this recipe of goda masala for your family members. its a really good recipe, provided you get all the ingredients.
i am sorry to know about your digestive issues. you must be required to be careful at all times. its difficult to imagine indian food without spices. but i am sure you must have found made your own recipes by now. take care.
Thank you for your wonderful article, recipe and photos!
I am new to making masala and have been enjoying delicious meals as a result!
There is something new to be learned with every masala recipe!
I will now roast my ingredients separately and set aside some time for that happy chore.
welcome james. good to know this.
so nice to see kala masala recipe.
I am from Andra pradesh what is meant by
niger seeds i want to know telugu meaning of it.
thank u so much
i do not know what are niger seeds called in telugu.
Hi…i want to know how to make home made cream which can b use to make cakes and can b put to gravy please help me…
supriya, i will try to add the homemade cream post soon.
Hi what is the proportion of black pepper.
its half tsp. thanks for letting me know sheetal. i have added in the post now.
Hi I was searching for this type of aromatic masala powder for the curry and daal and finally I got it. Thanks a lot for the recipe. Keep posting.
Yay for goda masala!!
Making it is a long, tiring and time-consuming process but isn’t it so totally worth it by the end of it? I don’t make the masala all by myself but usually my mom and I get together on an afternoon and make a batch enough to last us a few months. When our neighbours smell the aroma, everyone demands half a vaati of freshly made goda masala so that they can taste it 😀
thanks preeti. it is a long process. that too i just made 250 gms. i usually make these homemade masalas once i am done with all work. i know the aroma is so good. even my home was so fragrant. the flavor is amazing. already added to masale bhaat and amti and superb taste and flavor 🙂
Hi there….ur recipe for goda masala sounds great. But what are the proportions for the ingredients? You have listed all the ingredients and method but you have omitted the proportions.
Please let me know exactly how much of ingredients to use so that I get the recipe right.
Thank you. Have a nice day.
the recipe for goda masala is right at the bottom of the page. all ingredients and method given. you have to scroll down 🙂
jayashri and sanjiv, there was an issue with the mobile version. have rectified it. on the desktop and laptop the recipe details were seen. the mobile software we are using was not taking the entire recipe. so have solved this issue now.
You do not mention the Ingredients and the Instructions , so please update for all
sanjiv, the recipe is posted at the bottom of post.
What have you done to the site? I can’t access it from my ipad 2 anymore. I used my husband’s computer to print out two recipes that we like and it would only let me print everything–12 and 27 pages! This was my go-to website. I’m sorry I will not be able to use it anymore.
jan. its unfortunate that you are leaving. but please recheck. as for us we can check the website on iphone, tab (samsung) and latops. for us, it is only giving one page print option. will love to see you back.
This goda masala is amazing but i just want to know that for what all dishes can we add this?
thanks supriya. this is already mentioned in the post (3rd paragraph)… dishes like masale bhaat, tondli bhaat (spiced ivy gourd rice), vangi bhaat (spiced brinjal rice), dal amti, matki usal, bharli bhendi (stuffed okra), bharli vangi (stuffed brinjal/aubergines), matar usal, vangi bhaji, papdi bhaji, katachi amti.