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Any of various mixtures of spices that are used in South Asian cuisine.

[Hindi and Urdu maṣāliḥ, masālā, ingredients, mixture of spices, from Persian masāleḥ, from Arabic maṣāliḥ, pl. of maṣlaha, benefit, from ṣalaḥa, to be good; see ṣlḥ in Semitic roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Cookery) a mixture of spices ground into a paste, used in Indian cookery
Hinglish spicy; dramatic: it was a typical masala film.
[from Urdu masalah, from Arabic masalih ingredients]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
All the bhunas and bhajis that have made Indian food so popular are included but the menu also boastsmore unusual choices - the haddock tawa massala at pounds 9.95 is Scotland's favourite fish in a spicy tomato sauce.
My friend, who had expressed a desire for curry before we'd even crossed the restaurant's threshold, took a slightly blinkered view of the menu, opting immediately for the chicken tikka massala. However, this wasn't any old bar meal.
The Consumers' Association named culprits in a study of bestsellers lasagne, pizzas and chicken tikka massala.
FOOD colourings linked to hyperactivity, asthma, and even cancer have been detected in chicken tikka massala served in Indian restaurants, consumer chiefs warned.
Food colourings linked to hyperactivity, asthma, and even cancer, have been detected in chicken tikka massala, one of the UK's favourite dishes, consumer chiefs warned today.
Probably Chicken Tikka Massala or Tandoori King Prawn Massala.
Vegetarian dishes: Vegetable lasagne or tikka massala at pounds 4.95.
Chicken tikka massala (283g), pounds 2.29; cauliflower cheese (283g), pounds 1.19; toffee yoghurt (four pack), 89p.
SAINSBURY'S: British whole lamb leg (bone in) pounds 5.99 per kg down from pounds 7.99; Granny Smith apples 38p (per lb), down from 49p; Sainsbury's Corbieres Blanc & Rouge (75cl) pounds 2.65, down from pounds 3.45; Sainsbury's Chicken Tikka Massala (350g) pounds 1.99, down from pounds 2.99.
Ruth went for Sylhety Chicken (PS6.50), a classic Bangladeshi dish prepared with marinated chicken cooked in tandoori with ginger, garlic, green pepper, chopped onions, fenugeek and garam massala. With all that going on we'd have thought it'd have packed more of a punch than it did.
With a menu designed for both the curry aficionado and the casual chicken tikka massala eater there is something for everyone.
Chef Mark Earnden showed his enthusiastic audience how to prepare and cook chicken tikka massala, Italian meatballs with tomato sauce, salmon, mustard and herb fishcakes and garlic mushrooms with cumin and lemon.