When the temperatures rise, it’s time to cool off with your cooking – but it doesn’t always mean reaching for the freezer. Did you know that in countries like India, hot and spicy foods are eaten throughout the summer (it can get above 100 degrees) for a scientific reason? Hot foods raise your internal body temperature to match the temperature you feel outside, which makes you sweat and helps cool you off!

We asked Chef Sunil Bastola, executive chef behind the newly opened Commonwealth Indian at Pike & Rose, to share one of his favorite spice rubs to be enjoyed on the grill when the temps start creeping up.

Chef Sunil Bastola

“Whether you’re hosting a family get-together or grilling on your day off, I’m sharing a way to present grilled meats and vegetables with an Indian twist,” Chef Bastola says. “This is a spice rub perfect for all types of meat — chicken wings, steaks, pork chops — or even fresh veggies.”


Tandoori mix rub is an Indian spice mix consisting of cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric, salt, and peppers*. Make this rub ahead of time and store in an air-tight container to create a flavorful meal fast — simply marinate with your spices, grill, and serve! *You can easily find these spices in any Indo-Pak or specialty grocery store.


Works for 2 lbs of any meat or vegetables.

1/2 cup Cumin Powder

1/4 cup Coriander Powder

1 Tablespoon Cloves Powder

2/3 Tablespoon Cinnamon Powder

2 and 3/4 Tablespoon Ginger and/or Garlic Paste

1 and 1/2 Tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder

1 and 1/2 Tablespoon Turmeric Powder

1 Tablespoon Salt

2/3 Tablespoon Black Pepper Powder

1 Teaspoon Yellow Food Coloring (optional)


Mix all the ingredients together. Add your choice of meat and/or vegetables to marinate in the spice rub for an hour before grilling.