Inspector Hektor at the spice wholesalers «Maruti» on Samuel Street (M Devi Marg) in Mumbai.
The hot spice blend of «Mission Kaki»
On his research trip to India (Episode 18), Hektor Maille gathers the ingredients that make up a special spice mixture in which his entire «mission» is represented – each ingredient in this «Maille-Masala» brings to mind one particular scene from each of the 20 episodes. For the nose of the unsuccessful agent (and any disappointed reader of «Mission Kaki»), this spice mix serves as a reminder-hub or a directory of olfactory hyperlinks that beam the person directly to the different places in which «Mission Kaki» is set, or as a link to different aspects of the story.
The preparation of 300 g of «Maille-Masala» takes, according to one's practice, about two or three hours and the process can perfume a room for several days. The exact nature of the particular mixture depends primarily on how much you roast the individual ingredients - since during the roasting process, the aroma of spices continuously changes. We have waived to note roasting times as these can vary strongly depending on the heat of the pan: Some spices are roasted in seconds, others need several minutes. The sharpness of the mixture depends primarily on the sharpness of the chillis, which are used - and can therefore vary widely.
The «Maille-Masala» is very versatile: it can simply be stirred into a cold dipping sauce with yogurt and salt - or be part of stews, soups and marinades.
50 g coriander seeds
20 g fenugreek
20 g cumin
10 g fennel
10 g cinnamon-stick, slightly broken
40 g white sesame, whole
10 g black pepper, whole
10 g long pepper, whole
10 g all spice, whole berrys
30 g dried chillies, without stalk
4 g cloves
4 g asafetida, whole
40 g white poppy seeds
6 g black cardamom
5 g stone flower, whole
5 g cinnamon buds, whole
5 g mace (nutmeg), whole
10 g dried ginger, ground
10 g dried turmeric, ground
One could be tempted to roast all the ingredients at once. This is only partially recommended because the individual spices respond very differently to heat and have different habits: The chili burns quickly, the cloves carbonize suddenly and the and poppy seeds have a tendency to jump from the frying pan. – You should make sure the finished powder has really cooled before being packaged - warm powder could give rise to condensation, provoke moisture and spoil the powder quickly.
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
In India, Hektor Maille gathers the ingredients that make up a special spice mixture in which his entire «mission» is represented – each ingredient in this «Maille-Masala» brings to mind one particular scene from each of the 20 episodes. Maille-Masala can be part of many different recipes - for example:
First Publication: 24-4-2011
Modifications: 21-6-2011, 16-11-2011