Best Shikanji Masala Brands in India – Mishry
Roopak Shikanji Masala (masala powder) and Urban Platter (premix) are our Top Picks. They offer the best, most refreshing flavor in their respective categories.
चुभती जलती गर्मी, needs a prickly heat powder and something to quench your thirst. And what better than a fresh, homemade shikanji. Shikanji is a life saver during the HOT Indian summer. A splash of lemon, sugar syrup and a pinch of a masala is just what you need.
We tested five brands of shikanji masalas (instant and masala powders) to find which would add the most convenience with no compromise on the taste. We chose Roopak Shikanji Masala (masala powder) and Urban Platter (instant/premix) as our Top Picks for their refreshing flavor, great mixability and superb potency.
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for? We were looking for a tasty, refreshing shikanji masala powder/premix that eliminates the need to gather ingredients.
The readymade shikanji masala is available in two forms – instant premix and the masala. An instant premix includes everything like lemon, sugar and masala. All you need is water or soda. The masala powders are a mix of spices like cumin and black salt. You will still need to add lemon and sugar syrup to this. We reviewed contenders from both categories.
To test Shikanji masala brands we set the following parameters –
In the masala powder category, the salt levels, balance of flavor of all the spices, and cumin intensity were all checked. How refreshing is the overall flavor?
In the instant shikanji premix we were looking at the sugar, lemon flavor and masala ratio. How balanced is the flavor of all three components? Can we alter the sweetness?
Does the instant powder dissolve completely or is it tough to mix this in water? As for the masala powder – does it mix well in water or settle at the bottom?
Which is the most dominant aroma in the masala? Cumin, rock salt or something else? Is the premix lemony and refreshing?
4. Other Parameters
How much masala/premix is required to make the perfect glass of shikanji? Does it do the job well using a small portion? This would eventually impact how value for money the product is.
All you need is water or soda. Or are more ingredients required in the instant mix? For the masala powder, you will need sugar and lemon additionally.
Competitive pricing or higher? If it is priced higher than the competition – why? Does the list/quality of ingredients set it apart?
What is the shelf life of the shikanji masala? Does it stay good for the entire season?
Shikanji Masala Brands – Detailed Review
How did we test these? We used two bases to test the shikanji masalas and premixes – water and soda water, as both are equally popular.
To test the premixes we simply added premix scoops to a glass of water and soda and began our taste test. The quantities were as per the pack.
To test the shikanji masalas we made the shikanjis using 2 Tbsp lemon juice and sugar, 1/4th tsp shikanji masala and cold water. As the potency can differ, we added 1/4th tsp in every glass to check for the same. We re-tested them with plain water as per the required quantities. Some needed just a pinch, some required much more.
Just like premixes, we tested them with soda water as well.
Here are all the details about the shikanji masala and premixes we tested –
1. Roopak Shikanji Masala – Mishry Top Pick
Roopak’s Shikanji Masala is made using five ingredients – pink rock salt, black salt, pepper, cumin and black cumin. This masala has the most refreshing flavor, maximum potency and excellent mixability. You only need a small amount to strike that balance of flavor without it becoming too salty. It has the right amount of salt with a wonderful roasted cumin flavor.
A 200 gm pack is priced at Rs 160/-. The main ingredients include rock salt (pink), salt black, cumin, black pepper, black cumin. This has a shelf life of 12 months.
- Most refreshing flavor.
- Best balance of flavors. This is not too salty and has the best roasted cumin flavor.
- Superb mixability.
Need a well-rounded shikanji masala for your homemade shikanji? Roopak masala is the best there is.
2. Urban Platter – Top Pick (Instant/Premix)
Urban Platter’s Shikanji Premix has everything in it and all you need is a glass of water/soda. This is a refreshing shikanji premix with the perfect balance of sugar, lemon, cumin, and salt. In addition to lemon and sugar, this has basil seeds which add a unique edge and a touch of oomph visually. Ingredients like green cardamom and basil seeds have naturally cooling properties and we appreciate their addition in this shikanji masala.
Overall, this is a convenient shikanji premix with balanced flavors.
A 400 gm pack is priced at Rs 300/-. The main ingredients include castor sugar, lemon juice powder, black salt, sea salt, black pepper, green cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger and basil seeds. The shelf life is 12 months.
- Refreshing, balanced flavor.
- We like the addition of basil seeds.
- Very convenient.
- Good mixability.
Need shikanji instantly? The Urban Platter Shikanji Mix is as convenient as it gets.
Chaman’s Shikanji Masala did not win because it was extremely salty. Even when added in minimal quantity, the salt overpowers everything else. The lemon juice doesn’t cut through either. This smells a lot like bhuna jeera, but the salt content doesn’t let that flavor shine. Mixability is average.
A 100 gm carton is priced at Rs 65/-. The main ingredients include iodized salt, black salt, cumin (jeera), and kali mirch. This has no preservatives, artificial colors or enhancers. The shelf life is 1 year.
- The aroma of roasted cumin is pleasing.
- This is the saltiest of them all
4. Jain Shikanji
The shikanji masala has a peculiar aroma and taste which we cannot point our finger on. It does not have a pleasing flavor or aroma. This was a surprise as Jain Shikanji is an extremely popular brand and over the years, has turned into a mandated pitstop when traveling towards the hills. The salt levels are fine with undertones of cumin and black pepper.
This has Nausadar (ammonium chloride) and Haid in addition to regular shikanji-specific ingredients.
250 gms of Jain Shikanji is priced at Rs 100/-. The main ingredients include black salt, pepper, jeera, nosadar, anardana, long, white salt, haid. This has a 12 month shelf life.
- Balanced salt levels with mild cumin and pepper flavor.
- Peculiar aroma and taste.
- Not refreshing.
Rasna’s instant mix did not win because it is very flat-tasting. Firstly, you need a lot of premix quantity to make a glass of shikanji. Secondly, the flavors of shikanji are not there. If you add more quantity it just ends up like sweetened water. Though the aroma is tangy, it doesn’t really reflect when it comes to taste.
A 500 gm pack is priced at Rs 225 and has a shelf life of 2 years. The ingredient list mentions the use of sugar, fruit juice powder, fruit and veg extract, acidity regulator (ins 330) black salt, common salt, glucose, emulsifying and stabilizing agents (INS 414, ins 331, ins 415), natural spice oils, natural spice extract, natural essential oils, vitamin, flavors (natural and nature identical lemon flavor), minerals, and anticaking agent.
- Tangy aroma.
- Not refreshing.
- Flat tasting.
- Needs a lot of quantity to bring out some flavor.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Roopak as our Top Pick? Why is Urban Platter the better option in the premix/instant category?
Both our Top Picks provided the best tasting, most refreshing shikanjis in their respective categories. Roopak’s Masala has a well balanced salt and cumin flavor, excellent mixability and maximum potency. Which means that you need little quantity to get a well rounded flavor, which would ultimately prove to be value for money.
Three things that helped Urban Platter inch ahead were its balance of flavor, addition of basil seeds and the convenience it offers. It is our Top Pick in the premix/instant category.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on shikanji masala brands in India.
Typically a shikanji is made using lemon, cooked sugar syrup, and a masala which consists of black salt and cumin. A nimbu pani, on the other hand, is devoid of any masalas. It is made with simple lemon, sugar and water/soda. Salt is optional.
Traditionally a shikanji masala is made with black salt/pink salt, black pepper and lots of roasted cumin powder.
If we talk about shikanji masala powders, yes you will need lemon juice and sugar syrup. You will not require sugar if talking about premixes.
No. None of the five brands we reviewed contain any added colors.
After resealing the pack, you can store the carton in a cool, dark place. Roopak and Urban Platter come in jars and can be stored as-is.
In their respective categories Roopak Shikanji Masala (Masala powder) and Urban Platter Instant Shikanji (Premix) offer the best, most refreshing flavors making them our winners.
Which is your favorite summer cooler apart from shikanji?