Authentic Tawa Masala Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide to Indian Street Food Delight

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine sizzling spices and vibrant vegetables dancing together on a hot tawa, the heart of many Indian kitchens. The tawa masala recipe is a delightful celebration of flavors, textures, and aromas that’ll transport you straight to the bustling streets of India. This dish is not just food; it’s a cultural experience, steeped in the tradition of street-side cooking where each spice tells a story.

Ingredients for Tawa Masala Recipe

As you dive into preparing the Tawa Masala, ensure you have all the right ingredients to capture the essence of this traditional Indian street food. Here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll need to bring the vibrant streets of India to your kitchen.

Essential Spices

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

Fresh Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

Other Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil or butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnishing
  • Juice of one lemon (to be added last for a fresh burst of flavor)

Required Tools and Equipment

To capture the essence of an Indian street-side culinary experience, you’ll need a few key tools and equipment. Ensure you have the following items ready to bring the Tawa Masala recipe to life.

Cooking Tawa

A tawa, or large flat griddle, is essential for this recipe. Traditionally made from cast iron, it provides a wide cooking surface with even heat distribution, perfect for sautéing the vegetables and blooming the spices. If you don’t own a tawa, a large non-stick skillet can be a good substitute. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the amount of ingredients comfortably, as crowding can lead to steaming instead of sizzling.


You will need the following utensils:

  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Vital for stirring your ingredients effectively without scratching the surface of your tawa or skillet.
  • Ladle: Useful for adding and mixing sauces or water without splashing.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: Accurate measures of spices and liquids are crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavors characteristic of Indian cuisine.
  • Knife and Chopping Board: For prepping your vegetables. A sharp knife will make this task easier and safer.
  • Bowls: Various sizes for organizing spices and other pre-measured ingredients before cooking.

With these tools at hand, you’re well-equipped to proceed with making your Tawa Masala. Every utensil plays a role in the success of the dish, ensuring efficient and enjoyable cooking.

Prep Work

Before you begin cooking, proper preparation is key to making your Tawa Masala recipe a success. Let’s get everything ready to ensure the process is smooth and efficient.

Spice Blend Preparation

First, prepare your spice blend, which is the heart of the Tawa Masala. You will need the following spices:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Using a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and dried red chilies until they start to pop and release their aromas, about 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Once toasted, transfer these spices to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Add the turmeric powder and grind everything to a fine powder. This freshly ground spice mix will bring out the rich flavors typical of street-style Tawa Masala.

Cutting and Chopping

Next, prepare your vegetables. You’ll need:

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Start by peeling and finely chopping the onions. The smaller the dice, the better they will meld with the spices. Move on to the tomatoes, chopping them finely as well to ensure they cook down evenly on the tawa. For the bell peppers, remove the seeds and membrane, then dice them into small pieces to match the texture of onions and tomatoes. Lastly, mince the ginger and garlic together; these will add a fragrant punch right at the beginning of your cooking process.

Organizing these ingredients properly will streamline your cooking process, allowing you to focus on the flavors and aromas that make Tawa Masala so delightful.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your spices are blended and vegetables are prepped, let’s turn to the tawa to start the actual cooking process. Follow these steps closely to achieve the perfect Tawe Masala.

Cooking the Base

  1. Heat Your Tawa: Place your tawa on medium heat. If you don’t have a tawa, a large flat skillet will work as well.
  2. Add Oil: Pour two tablespoons of vegetable oil on the hot tawa.
  3. Sauté Onions and Garlic: Add your chopped onions and minced garlic to the oil. Stir frequently and cook until the onions become translucent and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Introduce Spices: Sprinkle the prepared spice blend over the onions and garlic. Cook while stirring continuously to prevent the spices from burning, for about 2 minutes, until aromatic.

Adding Main Ingredients

  1. Mix in Bell Peppers and Tomatoes: Add chopped bell peppers and tomatoes to the tawa. Mix well with the spiced onion-garlic mix to combine flavors.
  2. Cook Vegetables: Allow the vegetables to cook uncovered on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the bell peppers are soft and the tomatoes have reduced into a thicker paste.

Final Touches and Serving

  1. Adjust Flavor: Taste the masala mix and adjust salt and pepper as needed. If the masala is too dry, add a splash of water to loosen it up.
  2. Add Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the cooked masala for an added layer of flavor and a pop of green color.
  3. Serve Hot: Your Tawa Masala is now ready to be served. Enjoy it hot, ideally paired with freshly cooked chapati or naan.

Assembling the Tawa Masala

Now that your spices are fragrant and your vegetables precisely sautéed, it’s time to assemble the Tawa Masala. This part of the process melds all the flavors together on the tawa, bringing this street food-inspired dish to life.

Layering the Ingredients on Tawa

Start by spreading the sautéed onions and garlic evenly across the surface of the tawa. Next, add the spice-coated bell peppers and tomatoes over the onion base. Ensure the vegetables are distributed evenly to allow each bite to be as flavorful as the last. Gently press them down using a spatula, enabling the fusion of spices with the other ingredients. This step is crucial as it sets the stage for all the flavors to integrate under the heat.


Turn the heat to low and cover the tawa with a large lid or aluminum foil. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. This slow-cooking process helps the vegetables to soften and absorb all the aromatic spices thoroughly. Keep an eye on the moisture level, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent the masala from sticking to the tawa. Stir occasionally, and adjust your seasoning if needed. This simmering phase is where the magic happens, transforming your assembled ingredients into a vibrant and cohesive Tawa Masala.

Serving Suggestions

Now that you’ve mastered the vibrant art of making Tawa Masala, let’s explore how to serve this delightful dish to elevate your dining experience.


Tawa Masala shines when paired with the right sides. Serve it with warm, buttered pav (Indian bread rolls) or soft naan to soak up the rich, spicy sauce. If you prefer rice, a bowl of steamed basmati rice will complement the intense flavors of the masala beautifully. Don’t forget to add a side of cool cucumber raita or a simple kachumber salad (diced onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers) to balance the heat and add a crunch to your meal.

Presentation Tips

Presentation can vastly enhance the appeal of your Tawa Masala. Use a bright, colorful serving dish that contrasts with the rich colors of the masala to make it pop. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and perhaps a few lemon wedges around the edge of the dish. For a truly authentic touch, place the Tawa (if it’s decoratively presentable) directly on the dining table as your centerpiece. Serve hot, allowing your guests to experience the aromatic warmth as soon as it’s brought to the table.


Now that you’ve mastered the vibrant and flavorful Tawa Masala, you’re all set to dazzle your family and friends with this delightful dish. Remember the joy lies not only in the cooking but also in the sharing. Gather your loved ones around a beautifully set table and enjoy the fruits of your labor complemented by the perfect sides. Here’s to many memorable meals filled with laughter and great food! Enjoy every bite and don’t forget to make it again soon. Happy cooking!

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