A homemade biryani masala spice mix takes minutes to make, and rewards you with amazing flavor.
A reader asked me for my Biryani Masala recipe, so here it is.
I hadn’t shared this recipe before because it does include ingredients that most people in the West who cook Indian food would likely not have in their pantries, and it can be easier to just buy a pre-made biryani spice mix off the shelf or online.
That said, however, there really is no storebought version that can compare with a good, fresh homemade spice mix. This one smells so amazing, you will literally want to eat it by the spoonful (although you shouldn’t. Seriously).
I don’t want to scare you about the ingredients — they are not at all hard to find if you live within range of an Indian grocery store or if you are able to buy them online. There could be some things here that you haven’t heard of before. But if you do go to the trouble of getting them, it will be well worth it, and once you get the whole spices, they will keep for ages.
This biryani masala mix recipe is enough for two to three uses and that is good enough because you don’t really want to keep the mix around for too long after grinding it up, for the best flavor. Once spices are ground, the essential oils that give them their flavor and aroma will dissipate. To delay that process, you should store the spice in an airtight jar and a refrigerator would be preferable, although on the shelf in a cool, dark pantry would be fine too.
Here are some of my biryani recipes to make with this masala:
Biryani Masala Spice Mix Recipe:
Biryani Masala Spice Mix
- 1/4 cup coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp shah jeera (black cumin seeds)
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 tsp dagad phool (also called stone flower)
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 10 cloves
- 1 tsp mace
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 7 pods green cardamom
- 2 pods black cardamom
- 2 tsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tbsp fried onion (use the kind you get from the store, like French's, or at the Indian store. Onions fried at home would contain too much oil which could go rancid over time)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp dry pomegranate seeds (anardana)
- 4 dry plums (chopped into smaller pieces)
- Place all the ingredients except the plums in a spice grinder or a blender. Process into an even but coarse powder.
- Mix in the plums and store in an airtight jar, in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place in your pantry or kitchen.