Wednesday Wisdom: Homemade Biryani Masala (Biryani Spice Mix)
This post is an extension of the previous one, Chicken Biryani . I mentioned using a packet masala in that recipe to keep the ingredient list short. You see, with desi cooking there will be a long list of ingredients which may seem a little too much for those who aren’t familiar with this style of cooking but for us Pakistanis these spices are as common as salt. Some of us add all the spices while cooking and some of us make there own spice mix and use as required. I fall in both categories. Mostly I put spices on the spot and for some dishes like Qorma and Karahi I pre blend all spices and keep them stored for convenience. Check out Qorma Masala, Tandori Masala (Tandori Spice Mix) and Karahi Gosht Masala (Wok Chicken Spice Mix)
I don’t put recipes under Wednesday Wisdom and like to have some informative and general discussions on Wednesdays so today is a little different from the usual pattern. Most spices required for Biryani Spice mix must be in your kitchen cabinet already. Some spices will be whole and some will be ground for this spice mix. Once made, keep in an airtight jar for up to two months in a cool and dry place. I store homemade masala in freezer… Put masala in a zip lock bag, label and keep in the freezer. It lasts longer this way.
Homemade Biryani Masala (Biryani Spice Mix)
An easy homemade spice blend to give exceptional aroma and taste to our national favorite dish, biryani.
- 8-10 pods green cardamoms, seeds only. Hari ilaichi in Urdu
- 1 ball nutmeg jaiful in Urdu
- 3-4 pieces mace jawitri in Urdu
- 1 tsp white cumin seeds sufaid zeera in Urdu
- ¾ tsp black cumin seeds kala or shahi zeera in Urdu
- ¾ tsp black pepper corns sabit kali mirch in Urdu
- ¾ tsp cloves loung in Urdu
- 3 pieces of cinnamon stick, each piece about 1 inch long daar cheeni in Urdu
- 3 star anise badiyaan in Urdu
- 3 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder or daigi mirch
- 1½ tbsp red chilli powder
- 3 tbsp coriander powder
- 1¼ tbsp salt
- 1 tsp tumeric powder haldi in Urdu
- Spices to add as whole
- 4-5 black pepper corns
- 1 tsp white cumin seeds
- 7-8 cloves
- 3-4 pieces cinnamon stick, each piece about half inch long
- 4-5 pods green cardamoms
- 2-3 pods black cardamoms
- 12-15 dried plums sokha aalo bukhara in Urdu
In a clean frying pan, dry roast first 9 ingredients on low flame, till slightly warm and fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to let them burn. Keep stirring.
Remove from flame and grind in to fine powder.
Transfer ground spice blend in to a clean and dry bowl.
Add in kashmiri red chilli powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and tumeric powder to the bowl. Stir.
Add in last six whole spices and dried plums to this mix. Stir well.
Store in an airtight container for up to two months or put in a zip lock bag and freeze for about three months. Add to biryani meat mixture as required.