Best Chicken Masala Brands in India: Enhance The Taste Of Your Curry (Sep 2023)
A good chicken masala helps enhance the flavor of a simple curry. We chose Badshah Chicken Masala as our Top Pick because it lent our chicken curry a wholesome, meaty flavor.
Our reviews are research-based, and all trials and testings are conducted in-house over days and weeks. We have a strict no-free-sample policy to ensure our reviews are fair and impartial.
Comfort food is different for everyone. Be it dal-chawal, instant noodles or a bowl of soup. But one thing that most Indians would agree on is that a simple homestyle chicken curry with rice remains unparalleled.
A packaged chicken masala can hugely impact the taste of the curry. From using the correct blend of spices to nailing the intense, deep flavor of onions and garlic – there’s a lot that goes in the making of a chicken masala.
We picked and tested seven brands of chicken masala in our test kitchen to make a classic homestyle chicken curry. We chose Badshah Chicken Masala as one of the best chicken masala brands in India. The meaty flavor, well-rounded spiciness and the balanced seasoning this brand provides is superlative. We Also Recommend Catch Chicken Masala.
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison of Chicken Masala Brands
Here is a tabular comparison of all the brands of chicken masala we reviewed for their price, net weight, shelf life and main ingredients.
Chicken Masala Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know
Here is all that you need to know about the chicken masala brands.
1. Available Types
Generally, a chicken masala is meant to enhance the flavor of a homestyle curry. The masala we reviewed is for recipes like chicken masala curry, kadhai chicken, or even added to give a meaty flavor to vegetarian gravies.
Another category of chicken masala that is available in the market is labeled as tandoori masala which is meant to be added to tandoori chicken and tikkas. There is also a butter chicken masala available.
2. Available Quantities
Chicken masala is available in two sizes –
- 50 gms
- 100 gms
3. Price Range
A 100 gram pack of chicken masala in India is priced between Rs 50/-to Rs 80/-.
4. Shelf Life
The shelf life of a chicken masala varies from brand to brand. It is usually between 12-18 months.
The main ingredients of every chicken masala include dried coriander, onions, garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and cumin. Apart from these every brand experiments with a different blend of spices. More details on individual brand’s ingredients below.
Related Reading – Looking for a garam masala? We found the tastiest garam masala for your curries.
Our Review Factors
To gauge chicken masala powders, we divided our review into two stages –
Stage 1 – Dry inspection
During the dry inspection stage we checked the dry masala for its color, texture, and dominant aroma.
Stage 2 – Cooking with the masala (Mishry Secret Sauce)
The Mishry Secret Sauce stage is meant to test the product for its intended use, which is why we made a simple homestyle chicken curry. We chose to make a curry using simple ingredients because it helps highlight the blend of spices the chicken masala is made of.
For our testing, we made a big batch of onion-tomato base with ginger and garlic. This was then equally divided into seven portions and cooked with chicken and the chicken masala contenders in different pans.
Our recipe included pre-measured portions of all the ingredients. It included 47 gms of the cooked base/paste, 70 gms of boneless chicken cut into small pieces, 1 tsp of chicken masala, 1 Tbsp dahi/curd, ½ cup water, and a pinch of salt. The measurements, type of cooking utensil and cooking time were exactly the same.
We tasted them thrice – as it is when it was cooked, once with plain boiled rice and then again after 30 minutes, after it had cooled down a little and the chicken had absorbed the full flavors of the masala.
Indian spices have a fresh, characteristic aroma that is inviting. For our chicken masala review, we wanted to check which brand has the most robust, aromatic masala. We checked for aroma for each brand during three stages – in its dry form, while cooking the gravy and after the dish was prepared.
If a dish looks unappealing, the overall experience reduces significantly for most. Doesn’t it? Which is why the vibrant color a masala lends to a dish is of utmost importance. We checked what type of color does the masala give to the curry? Is it brown, muddy, or red? Does it look appealing?
The factor that is of prime significance when it comes to masala – flavor. While there is no specific benchmark while gauging flavor for curries, we did keep a few spice and flavor notes in our top tier.
A chicken masala needs to have a meaty, almost roasty, bhuna masala flavor coming from the onion and garlic. If the masala is spicy, is the heat unidimensional or is it well-rounded? Is it adding positively to the dish?
4. Potency + Value For Money
When we say potency, we mean how much or how little of this masala is needed to change the flavor of the dish? This would invariably also determine the ‘value for money’ quotient of the chicken masala. The less masala is required to impart a distinct flavor to the dish, the more it will last and thus it will prove to be value for money.
Best Chicken Masala brands – Detailed Review
The following section lists our detailed experience with each product.
1. Badshah Hot Chicken Masala – Mishry Top Pick
Badshah Chicken Masala is a semi-fine powder and has a lot of lumps. So before we could start cooking with it, we had to crumble them between our fingers. The dry powder has a dark brown color, in fact it is the darkest amongst all our contenders. The aroma of roasted onion, hing and red chilli powder is the most dominant.
As soon as we started cooking with this masala, our test kitchen was filled with a meaty aroma. Despite us not adding turmeric or red chilli powder, the curry was very flavorful on its own. It has a very bhuna pyaaz-like flavor which enhances the dish and makes it taste more meaty.
The chicken absorbed the flavor of the masala very nicely. We did not feel the need to add any extra red chilli even when we had it with rice. The color of the curry was also the most unique and pleasing.
- 100 grams of Badshah Chicken Masala is priced at Rs 73/-.
- The shelf life is 18 months.
- Ingredients – Red chilli, Coriander, Black pepper, Kashmiri red chilli, Stone flower, Turmeric, Ginger, Cumin, Garlic, Onion, Iodized salt, Clove sticks, Cassia, Citric acid, Kasuri methi, Kachadi, Compounded asafoetida, Clove, Sesame seeds, Celery, Star aniseed.
- A chicken recipe is given on the pack.
- We loved the meaty, roasty flavor it lends to the curry.
- The Badshah chicken masala has a wonderful aroma dominant on roasted onion, hing and red chilli powder.
- This has the perfect seasoning and doesn’t need extra red chilli or other spices at all.
- This is a value for money product as just a teaspoon made a major impact on the intensity of the flavor.
- We did not dislike anything flavor wise. The lumps in the dry masala could be a problem for some as most people tend to directly add the masala from the box and don’t transfer it to another container before use.
Looking for a masala that adds a meaty, roasty flavor to your curry? Look no further. Badshah’s Chicken masala is just what your homemade curry needs. Do note that this masala is vegetarian and can be added to paneer or mushroom curries as well.
2. Catch Chicken Masala – Also Recommended
Catch Masala also has a dark color, but is slightly lighter than Badshah’s masala. The aroma is dominant on coriander and cumin. The color of the curry turns reddish-brown after the masala is added.
Catch Chicken Masala amps up the spice quotient of the curry significantly. It has a very well-rounded spiciness that doesn’t overpower the flavor of other spices like cardamom or cassia. The chicken curry made using this masala has warm notes of khada masala and light meaty undertones.
When we tasted the curry, it tasted wholesome and we did not feel the need to add more spices to it.
- A 100 gram box of Catch Chicken masala is priced at Rs 75/-.
- It has a shelf life of 15 months.
- Ingredients – Coriander whole, cumin whole, chillies, capsicum whole, iodized salt, turmeric whole, large cardamom whole, cassia whole, bay leaves, mustard whole, fenugreek whole, dried garlic, maize starch, dehydrated onion, cucumis, cloves whole, pepper black whole, pepper white whole, nutmeg whole, citric acid – ins 330
- We liked the well-rounded spiciness this masala provides. No need to add additional spices!
- It gives the curry a nice color.
- The curry has meaty undertones and warm notes of whole spices.
Catch Chicken Masala is for those who like making relatively spicy curries at home.
3. MDH Chicken Masala
MDH Chicken Masala is a semi-coarse mix. The aroma of coriander and red chilli powder is dominant. MDH’s Chicken Masala did not win because the blend of spices wasn’t as potent as our Top Pick. The curry was tasty, undoubtedly, but the masala was rather weak and did not create any buzz on our palette. You would have to add spoonfuls of this to get a more intense flavor.
- A 100 gram pack of MDH Chicken Masala is priced at Rs 70/-.
- Shelf life is 12 months.
- Ingredients – Coriander seeds, Red chillies, Turmeric, Cumin, Iodized salt, Black pepper, Fenugreek leaves, Mustard seeds, Dried ginger, Cassia, Cardamom ammonium, Cloves, Nutmeg, Mace, Asafoetida
- The masala gives the curry a very vibrant color.
- The spice blend is very weak and doesn’t enhance the taste of the curry as much as our winners did.
4. Everest Chicken Masala
Everest Chicken Masala is coarse and you can see ground dhaniya. It is very aromatic.
The curry we made using the Everest Chicken Masala had garlicky undertones and a very onion-like sweetness. This has a certain masaledaar tang that we liked. The reason it lagged behind was due to the lower potency of the spices in this masala.
- A 50 gram pack is priced at Rs 38/-.
- Shelf life – 15 months
- Ingredients – Coriander, chilli, cumin, black pepper, garlic, cassia bark (Taj), dried ginger, nutmeg, mace, clove, black cardamom, fenugreek, dried fenugreek leaf, black gram, bengal gram, compounded asafoetida, iodized salt and turmeric.
- The curry made using this masala was positively tasty and had a significant garlic-onion flavor.
- We liked the masaledaar tang this masala provided.
- Lacks the intense depth of flavor that comes from whole spices.
5. Orika Chicken Masala
Orika’s Chicken Masala comes in a zip lock type pouch packaging. It is a fine powder with a dominant cumin aroma.
The curry we made using Orika’s masala brings a certain peppery heat to the curry and has a very delicious well-rounded flavor. Sadly, the intensity and warmth of spices we were looking for was missing.
- A 100 gram pack is priced at Rs 74/-.
- The shelf life is 12 months.
- Ingredients – Coriander, chilli, cumin, black pepper, dehydrated garlic, dry ginger, casia, nutmeg, cardamom, edible common salt, mace, fenugreek, clove, turmeric, bayleaf, compounded asafoetida
- We liked the resealable pouch packaging.
- The peppery heat is delicious.
- Lacks the intensity and warmth of spices. The blend is comparatively weak.
6. Tata Sampann Chicken Masala
Tata Sampann’s Chicken Masala is neither too fine nor coarse. It is high on an onion-like aroma. The packaging is different from other brands as it comes packed in 5 individual sachets of 20 grams each. The separate sachets in the box can help keep the flavour and aroma of the masala intact.
The dominant flavor the masala provides our curry with is a light tang and chilli. It isn’t meaty or packed with the spice-led intensity. The blend of spices isn’t as potent as our winners.
- A 100 gram pack is priced at Rs 77/-.
- Shelf life – 18 months.
- Ingredients – Coriander Powder, chilli powder, dehydrated onion powder (anti caking agent), dehydrated garlic granules (anti caking agent), cumin powder, cinnamon powder, kasoori methi, dried ginger powder, acidity regulator (ins 330), black pepper powder, green cardamom powder, kalonji, mace powder
- The packaging is unique and can be beneficial for those who don’t transfer the contents of the box into another container. This can help retain freshness of the masala.
- The light tang and chilli which the masala provides to the curry is tasty.
- The flavor is not meaty.
- It lacks the warm, spice intensity.
7. Eastern Chicken Masala
Eastern’s Chicken Masala is a semi-fine powder. The dominant aroma is that of red chilli powder. When we dry-tasted this masala, we noted that this is the most salty masala.
The curry we made using this chicken masala has a very pleasant curry leaf flavor. We liked the well-rounded spiciness this masala has. Full marks on that. The only reason it did not win is due to the lack of depth of flavor of the masala. It lacked a certain intensity.
- A 100 gram pack is priced at Rs 52/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months
- Ingredients – Coriander, turmeric, chilli, black pepper, salt, Kashmiri chilli, fenugreek, dry ginger, garlic, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmace, curry leaf.
- We like the curry leaf flavor of the masala.
- Well-rounded spiciness.
- The chicken masala lacks the intensity of warm spices we were looking for.
Need a chicken masala that has Southern flavors of curry leaves? The Eastern Chicken Masala is best suited to make South-Indian inspired chicken curries.
More Masaledaar Reviews & Reads
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Badshah Chicken Masala as our Top Pick? Why do we also recommend the chicken masala by Catch?
A chicken masala is added to elevate the flavor of a homemade gravy. Be it a simple chicken curry or something a bit more restaurant-style like kadhai chicken. We chose Badshah Chicken Masala as our Top Pick because it gave our bowl of chicken curry a deep, meaty flavor. The bhuna pyaaz and garlic flavor along with appropriate amounts of spices make this masala one of the best chicken masala brands we tested during our review.
We Also Recommend the Catch Chicken Masala for its well-rounded spiciness and the warm notes of khada masala it provides. The meaty undertones are a bit lesser as compared to our Top Pick, but definitely present.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on chicken masala brands.
Masalas aren’t particularly thought of as ‘health’ products, but most brands mentioned above are devoid of any added preservatives and artificial ingredients.
While both chicken masala and curry powder are meant to enhance the flavor of the dish, the difference lies in the blend of spices used to make the ‘masala’. Chicken masala lends a more deep, meaty flavor to the dish and curry powder provides more warm, earthy notes.
Yes. All the brands we reviewed are completely vegetarian.
Chicken curries so good, we couldn’t stop eating!
Do you use packaged chicken masala or do you make your masalas at home? Drop in your favorite masala-blend in the comment section below.
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