The only Biryani Masala Recipe you need in your Masala(spice) cabinet. Ditch the boxed spices that come with many unknown additives and make this beautifully fragrant homemade Biryani Masala Powder. Your quest of finding "How to make Biryani Masala Powder" ends here.
Story behind this Biryani Masala Recipe
Growing up, I had never seen my Ammi(mother) use boxed Biryani Masala or Garam Masala in India. She would grind her own spices every month without fail. I was amazed by the fragrance that came from those spices as she roasted them using her old Kadai(Wok). She grinded them in her ancient spice grinder. She has been using the same grinder for 30 years, folks. I have yet to find a spice grinder that won't break lol. I truly can't brag enough about my Mother's Masalas Masha'Allah(as God wills). Her Biryani Masala and Garam Masala are loved by many and meaty meals made from those Masalas get finger-licked by family and friends.
Boxed spices have really come in handy lately for a couple of years. I'm sure mothers will understand. I had to bring back that smell of Ammi's homemade spices in my kitchen. This Biryani Masala recipe is close to my heart. It brings back many wonderful memories; memories of eating Biryani and Meat curry prepared by my Mother using this spice blend. I would take the first bite of her Curries and Biryani and I knew she used her homemade spice blend.
What is Biryani Masala?
Biryani is a very famous Rice and Meat dish in South Asia and Masala is a blend of many different whole spices. The spice blend used in Meat Curry for Biryani is a base source to create the magical tastes of Biryani. Understanding which spice goes in what quantity for Biryani Spices is a gifted skill. Learning about the tastes of spices, experimenting, and understanding exactly which spice to include, which one to exclude and which one overpowers the other spice is the key to create the best blend of Biryani Masala.
You will find many different varieties of Biryani in South Asia. That's how versatile Biryani is. The main ingredients of Biryani Masala (spices) are the same.
Some parts of South Asia include Amchur Powder(dried mango powder) in their Biryani Masala blend for the tang, and others prefer to add Aloo Bukhare(dried prunes). Either way, South Asians love their Biryani. They are very proud of their Biryani heritage and refuse to hear anything negative about it.
Why This Recipe?
It's a family recipe that includes 13 main whole spices to create this beautifully fragrant Biryani Masala blend. It is moderately spicy and does not include chili powder. Some recipes include chili powder and salt in Biryani Masala blend. I like to add chili powder, turmeric, cumin-coriander and salt while cooking in order to adjust the heat level. I sometimes alternate between Amchur(dried mango powder) and Aloo Bhukhare(dried prunes) in my Biryani. Excluding these ingredients allows me to prepare different varieties of Biryani with the same spice blend. This Masala can be used as a Garam Masala for Curries.
This recipe requires dry roasting the ingredients. Dry roasting the spices drives off the excess moisture and toasted spices are easier to grind into a fine powder consistency. Dry roasting lengthens the shelf-life of powdered spices. Biryani Masala stays great for up to 6 months in an air tight container or a Jar.
Let's talk about those 13 main ingredients of this recipe. My Biryani Masala blend includes, Fennel seeds, Cumin seeds, Caraway seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black Peppers, Bay Leaves, Nutmeg, Mace flower, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, and Whole Coriander seeds.
These ingredients are easily available at any local South Asian grocery store. You can purchase the ingredient on my Amazon storefront if you like. Click here to purchase the Ingredients.
Bombay Biryani Blend
Exact measurements for Bombay Biryani Masala are included in the recipe card notes.
For Mild Bombay Biryani Masala:
- Biryani Masala
- Kashmiri Chili Powder
- Turmeric Powder
- Coriander Powder
- Cumin Powder
- Kasoori Methi-Dried Fenugreek
- Amchur Powder
- Fenugreek powder, optional
- Dried Prunes/Plums(Aloo Bukhara)
- Whole spices like, cinnamon stick, green & black cardamom, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, whole black pepper, cloves, mace, and star anise.
How to Use Biryani Masala
Check out my Easy Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani and One-Pot Vegetable Spicy Rice recipes to use this most fragrant Biryani Masala. You can use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon in a large pot of Meat Curry depending on your tolerance of spices. Go for less quantity if you are trying Biryani Masala for the first time. Increase the amount if needed.
BIRYANI MASALA RECIPE
- Spice Grinder or Coffee Grinder
- 3 tablespoons Whole Coriander Seed , Sabut Dhaniya
- 20 Black Cardamom , Badi Elaichi
- 1 ½ tablespoon Black Pepper Corn , Sabut Kali Mirch
- ½ tablespoon Whole Cloves , Sabut Laung
- ¼ cup Cinnamon Stick , DaalChini
- 2 tablespoons Fennel Seed , Saunf
- 1 ½ tablespoon Cumin Seed , Jeera
- 1 ½ tablespoon Black Cumin Seed , Shahi Jeera
- 6-8 Star Anise , Badiya Phool
- 1 Whole Nutmeg , Jayfal
- 2 tablespoons Green Cardamom , Chhoti Elaichi
- 2 tablespoons Whole Mace , Javantri
- 5-6 Bay Leaves , Tej Patta
- Heat a thick bottom wok or a skillet on medium heat.
- Add Whole Coriander, Cumin seed, Black Cumin seed, Fennel seed, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Pepper, Star Anise, and Black Cardamom to the wok. Turn the heat down to low and roast spices for 5 to 6 minutes while stirring continuously. Take the spices out in a bowl and set them aside to cool down.
- Grind Nutmeg, Green Cardamom and Mace until a fine powder forms. Take the spice blend out in a bowl. Now grind all the roasted spices and Bay Leaves at once or in a batch until a fine powder forms.
- Add the roasted spice blend into the non-roasted spice blend and mix it until well combined.
- Transfer the Biryani Masala in an airtight container or a jar. Store the Biryani Masala at room temperature in a pantry, away from any moisture.
- 1 teaspoon My Biryani Masala
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Amchur Powder
- ½ teaspoon dried Fenugreek
- 6 to 8 Dried Prunes/Plums(Aloo Bhukara)
- Few whole spices of your choice like, cinnamon stick, green & black cardamom, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, whole black pepper, cloves, mace, and star anise.
Tried this Recipe? Tag me on Instagram @feastwithsafiya #feastwithsafiya
Mother, Wife, Indian-American born and raised in the small town of India. Former IT employee now a food blogger. A self-taught food photographer.
I choose to cook with Whole Foods and Clean Ingredients as my Mother did. I am a firm believer in cooking meals with lots of vegetables, little meat, and generous spices.