If someone asks you What makes Pakistani food stand out? What makes it different and unique? What is the most significant thing about it? I would say it’s aroma. Our desi food has this special feature that you can tell what it is by it’s aroma. Like Mutton Pulao and Biryani.. the whole neighborhood would know that you are cooking it. Almost all the curries have same onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and basic seasonings and yet you can tell whether it is Kofta, aalo gosht, arvi gosht, aalo anday. Fascinating, isn’t it?
I have done few do-it-yourself or homemade stuff posts including Karahi Gosht Masala (Wok Chicken Spice Mix) followed by Shinwari Karahi recipe using that masala. One would wonder that with such a wide variety of packed spices available abundantly in the market do we really need homemade spice mixes in our lives? Clearly we do! We all have the ingredients in our kitchen cabinets already which are screaming to be mixed in a proportion and be used a specific masala for some special dish. Such combinations are so easy and doable that we don’t have to rely on processed/packed masala and I promise you’ll find homemade blend more aromatic and intense in flavor. Up your game people, add this oomph factor and let everyone around you ask,” What is the recipe?”
Qorma is basically a curry, which is thicker in consistency, richer in taste and more aromatic than a regular everyday curry. I keep this spice blend and Karahi masala stored in the pantry all the time and add to chicken, mutton or beef curry or karahi and make them super stars of the menu. Lets do this.
A homemade spice blend to elevate any regular curry to a hero status.
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp red chilli powder
- 3 tbsp deghi/kashmiri red chilli powder (this has deeper red color)
- 2 tbsp fennel (sounf)
- 1 tbsp white cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp black pepper corn
- 5-7 leaves mace
- 5-7 small pieces cinnamon sticks
- 5-6 medium black cardamoms, seeds only
- 10-12 medium green cardamom, seeds only
- 15 cloves
- 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2-3 bay leaves
Combine everything in a dry mill.
Run the machine to grind all ingredients well, about 2-3 minutes depending on the machine.
I like to keep it slightly coarse and not like powder but it is totally optional.
Store in a airtight container for up to 3-4 months in a cool dry place.
I usually keep them in a zip lock bag in freezer.
Use as required.