Unveiling the Spice of Durban: Mother in Law Masala


In the vibrant coastal city of Durban, South Africa, the culinary scene is as colourful and diverse as its people. One unique and flavourful spice blend that has left its mark is the renowned Mother in Law Masala. This exotic mix is a staple in many South African homes and is used to create spicy-hot and delectable dishes that are sure to awaken your senses.

The Mother in Law Masala is a spice blend that manages to be well-rounded and full-flavoured with a great kick to it. Its name evokes images of a sharp-tongued gourmet cook who expects nothing less than an excellent curry. And true to its name, it is a potent mix that can provide any dish with an added kick. Feel free to add some chopped green chilli for that extra bite, if you dare​​.

This unique spice blend comprises a diverse range of spices. Some of the ingredients may be coriander powder, cumin, fennel, pepper, poppy seeds, shah-jeera, nutmeg, bay leaves, cloves, star anise, black cardamoms, cinnamon, white cardamom, turmeric, and chillies. The spices are dry-fried until fragrant, ground to a fine powder, and stored in an airtight jar​​.

Despite thorough research, the specific history and origin of the Mother in Law Masala remain elusive. It is known as a proprietary name for a particularly strong mix of curry powder and other spices, and is applied loosely to any such mixture. The blend’s unique name hints at a spice mix that is as sharp and potent as the stereotype of the mother-in-law figure in family dynamics.

The Mother in Law Masala is more than just a spice blend; it’s an embodiment of Durban’s culinary identity, one that adds a distinctive flavour profile to the city’s food scene.

Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, this fiery masala blend is sure to add a touch of South African heat to your dishes. So, don’t hesitate to spice up your culinary journey with Mother in Law Masala, a true taste of Durban’s culinary heritage.