One of the keys to the wonderful and mysterious tastes of Indian cooking comes from a little flavor secret called The Chaunk. The Chaunk is a blend of spices, sometimes added before the dish is cooked, most of the time added afterward, that enhances the flavor and makes the dish “pop.”


Many people say Indian food is difficult to cook not because of the technique, but because of the difficulty in locating many of the necessary ingredients. The Chaunk 8 Pack includes all the hard to get spices needed to cook any of the enclosed recipes and a lot more. Just combine them with a few of the more common spices found in most kitchens.

When I first started cooking Indian food twenty-six years ago, I had the advantage of living in Los Angeles where every ingredient I needed was readily available from local Indian markets. When I moved to Sonoma, this was no longer the case. Which is why I developed The Chaunk Box.

The Chaunk contains:

  • garam masala,
  • black mustard seed,
  • kalonji,
  • Kashmiri chili powder,
  • methi leaves,
  • amchur powder,
  • cinnamon sticks
  • dried red chilies.

Some spices are known by several names. So if you pick up an Indian cookbook that calls for a spice you don’t recognize, know that:

  • Amchur is also known as dried mango powder.
  • Kalonji is also known as nigella or black onion seed.
  • Methi is also known as fenugreek leaf.
  • Black mustard seed is also known as brown mustard seed.

The Chaunk enables anyone to open the box and immediately begin the adventure of cooking Indian food. The recipes included in The Chaunk are simple and delicious vegetarian dishes, great for people taking their first steps into Indian cooking. They are all are favorites in our house, easy to prepare, and healthy. They can be part of an Indian meal or can be prepared on their own to accompany a western menu. And of course, these spices can be used to prepare many Indian dishes. For over 600 more recipes, visit my website

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