Sunday, June 25, 2017

Biriyani Masala (Homemade Spice Mix For Rice Pilaf & Curries)

Biriyani Masala is a must in the pantry if you love biriyani or pilaf. This spice mix is not limited to flavor biriyanis only; it is a fantastic way to flavor and spice up curries also. Start with a teaspoon of the mix to spice a curry to serve four and adjust according to your taste.

Although commercially prepared biriyani masalas are available for purchase, there is no comparison to the freshly ground flavor of the homemade one. This will make enough masala for a couple of months. The masala will stay fresh and flavorful stored in an air-tight jar.

NOTES: If Indian bay leaves are not available, leave them out of the masala; instead add a regular bay leaf or two to the dish during cooking. Kashmiri/byadagi chiles are milder than the regular ones and also lend a vibrant hue to the dish; lesser amount of regular chiles may be used instead along with a tablespoon of paprika.
Biriyani Masala

7-8  one inch Cinnamon sticks, preferably Indian type
4 T Coriander Seeds
1 Tbsp White Poppy Seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp Cloves
2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
2-3 Star Anise, broken to pieces
12 Cardamom Pods
5 Brown Cardamom Pods, seeds only
5-7 dried Kashmiri OR Byadagi Chiles, broken into small bits
1/2 Nutmeg, cracked into small pieces
1/2 T Mace
1 T Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Black Peppercorns
6-7 Indian Bay Leaves, torn to bits (optional)


Gather all the ingredients in a large pan and dry roast over low-medium heat stirring constantly for about 6 -7 minutes or until all is warm and beginning to be fragrant. Alternately, place the spices in a baking pan and toast at 300 degrees F for about 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice. The other choice is to use all the spices raw without toasting; this will be different but still good.

Pour onto a wide plate or platter and let cool completely.

Grind the spices into a fine powder using a spice grinder; this may need to be done in batches depending on the capacity of the grinder. Small bits and pieces of the spices are just fine; but if preferred, sieve the ground spices to remove larger pieces. 

Let cool and store in a clean, dry, jar with a lid.

Use about 1 teaspoon of the masala for a recipe for about 4 servings. 


No comments: