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.
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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. The fragrance that came from the spices when she roasted them in her old Kadai(Wok) and grinded them in her many year old spice grinder was amazing. My Ammi still uses her 3 decade old spice grinder to grind her homemade Masalas(spices). I have yet to find a spice grinder that won’t break lol. Back to Ammi’s Masala story, I 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 fingerlicked by family and friends.
I fell into using boxed spices throughout my motherhood because they are convenient for those easyfix Desi meals. But, always felt that feeling of homemade food was missing. I had to bring back that smell of Ammi’s homemade spices in my kitchen. This Biryani Masala recipe is close to my heart. Brings back so many wonderful memories of eating Biryani and Meat curry prepared by my Mother using this spice blend. As soon as you take that one bite of my mother’s food, you know she used her magical blend of Masala.
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. Each region has their own way of preparing Biryani but the main ingredients for basic Biryani Masala(spices) stay 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 more than anything. They are very proud of their Biryani heritage and refuse to hear anything negative about it.
How is This Recipe Different Than Other Recipes?
My recipe 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 and salt separately while cooking to adjust the flavors. I also like to 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 recipe requires dry roasting the ingredients. Dry roasting the spices drives off the excess moisture and toasted spices are easier to grind into fine powder consistency. Also, 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 also purchase it through my Amazon storefront if you like. Click here to purchase the Ingredients.
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. Adjust while cooking after tasting.
BIRYANI MASALA RECIPE
- Spice Grinder or Coffee Grinder
- 3 tablespoons Whole Coriander Seed , Sabut Dhaniya
- 20 Black Cardamom , Badi Elaichi
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Black Pepper Corn , Sabut Kali Mirch
- 1/2 tablespoon Whole Cloves , Sabut Laung
- 1/4 cup Cinnamon Stick , DaalChini
- 2 tablespoons Fennel Seed , Saunf
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Cumin Seed , Jeera
- 1 1/2 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 it aside to cool down.
- Grind Nutmeg, Green Cardamom and Mace until fine powder forms. Take the spice blend out in a large bowl. Now grind all the roasted spices and Bay Leaves at once or in a batch until fine powder forms.
- Add the roasted spiced blend into 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
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric, Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Amchur Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Fenugreek powder, optional
- 6 to 8 Dried Prunes/Plums(Aloo Bhukara)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me on Instagram @feastwithsafiya #feastwithsafiya
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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.