Biryani masala powder is a blend of whole spices roasted and powdered. This homemade biryani spice mix not only adds a unique flavour but also lends the aroma that's required for a perfect biryani.
What is Biryani?
A world-renowned biryani is a rice dish flavoured with exotic spices and cooked with marinated vegetables/meat. Meat/vegetables are first marinated in yogurt, herbs and this biryani masala powder. Rice is cooked in a large amount of water along with whole spices, salt and little oil until 80% cooked. Rice and marinade are arranged in layers with the final layer being topped with fried onions, mint, coriander, saffron-infused milk, cooked on low flame with lid covered. This homemade biryani spice powder infuses authentic flavour and aroma to the biryani.
ESSENTIAL BIRYANI MASALA INGREDIENTS
Each spice of biryani masala ingredients has its own aroma and adds its own flavour to this homemade spice blend. Mace and nutmeg are the most common spices in biryani masala powder recipe. Both lend delicate warm and sweet flavour. Cassia bark, cardamom and cloves are the common spices used in not just biryani masala but most of the Indian spice blends. Whole coriander seeds have a slightly citrus flavour with notes of sweetness. Cumin is not only an essential spice used for tadka; it is also used for many spice blends. It lends earthy flavour to the spice mixes.
WHY SPICES ARE ROASTED?
Dry roasting spices generally removes the moisture and release oil which provides intense flavour and aroma to the dish. So it is necessary to dry roast all spices until fragrant and then grind to a powder.
How to store spice blends?
Any homemade spice powder stays fresh and aromatic for around 4 months when stored in a clean and dry airtight jar in a cupboard away from direct sunlight. Later they gradually lose their flavour and aroma.
Consider storing in a fridge or freezer to maximise their shelf life. Ensure to store properly in an airtight container or zip lock bags to prevent moisture trapping in the container.
How to tell if spice mix is fresh?
Intensity of aroma and flavour determines the freshness of the biryani masala powder.
Fresh spice mix would have a strong aroma and bright colour.
If the homemade spice mix has a weak aroma, then probably they won’t taste best either.
The absence of aroma and flavour indicates it’s time to get rid of it.
Watch how to make biryani masala recipe
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Crush nutmeg in a mortar-pestle.
Dry roast coriander seeds and cumin on medium-low flame for 2 minutes or until fragrant, then transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, roast cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, mace for a minute just until fragrant and transfer them to the plate.
Finally, fry roast poppy seeds for a minute and turn off the heat.
Allow the spices to cool down completely and grind them to powder.
Store in a sterilised airtight glass jar and use as required.
Roast spices just until fragrant and ensure spices do not change the colour.
Roast the spices on a medium-low flame to avoid over roasting or burning the spices. Keep stirring frequently.
Biryani masala powder remains fresh for around 4 months, later it loses its aroma gradually. As I prepare biryani regularly I usually make a big batch sufficient to last for nearly 3 months. If you do not intend to make biryani regularly I suggest making a small batch.
More homemade spice blend recipes
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Biryani Masala Powder | Biryani Spice Blend
- Crush nutmeg in a mortar-pestle.
- Dry roast coriander seeds and cumin on medium low heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant, transfer to a plate.
- In the same pan, roast cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, mace for a minute or until fragrant and transfer them to the plate.
- Finally dry roast poppy seeds for a minute and turn off the heat.
- Allow the spices to cool down completely and grind them to a powder.
- Store in an sterilised air tight glass jar and use as required.
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