Normally, masala has cumin in it. But last year, I became incredibly allergic to cumin (it's not a fun allergy to have, by the way). My masala contained... cinnamon stick pieces (it's a more flat bark), cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and cardamom. My hostesses gave me instructions to bake briefly or sautee in dry frying pan to bring out flavors. Then, smash a bit with a mortar and pestle and then use a spice grinder. I just used a really clean coffee grinder.
I added 1 tsp of the masala with the flour and mixed throughout. I used my REALLY small batch recipe for this challah. For a 3 cup recipe, I would use 1 1/2 tsp, for 6 cup recipe, not much more than 2 tsp.
The result is... well, it's stunning. It smells VERY strong, but the taste is mild. It's so unexpected... our Ashkenazic, sweet doughy challah meets Indian spices. I'm very pleased.
Shabbat Shalom from our bayit to yours!