Biryani Masala: Biryani is one of the most loved rice dishes by non-vegetarians of the Indian subcontinent. The slow-cooked meats, the long-grain rice, the aromatic spices, the crispy brown onions, all come together to create a stellar dish that is not just fit for a feast, but is also one that can be eaten as a comfort food. Biryani is created in several different ways in different parts of the country. The recipe for cooking the ‘best biryani’ changes as we travel to different states of India. But what doesn’t change is reverence that the dish is held in. From Lucknowi biryani to Kolkata biryani and Hyderabadi and Ambur biryani, the variations are numerous.
Just like eating biryani, cooking it can also be a delight for those mesmerised by the culinary arts. From the slow cooking of the meat to finishing off with the final garnish of crispy onions, preparing biryani can be an intensely satisfying affair. Getting all the whole spices or khada masalas in order can itself be a task. Some of the most common spices that are used in making biryani include peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and that much hated whole spice- cardamom or elaichi (we all love its flavour, but hate to bite into an elaichi seed in biryani).
Depending on your recipe however, you may include or omit as many of the above spices as you like and replace them with spices that your recipe requires. You don’t need to be an expert chef to cook biryani. You just need to be a little creative and a little patient.
How To Make Biryani Masala
There are several important elements to making the perfect biryani. Marinating the meat in the right marinade and cooking the meat to the right juicy tenderness is one. Adding the right mix and quantity of masalas to the dish is another one.
Here is a biryani masala recipe for you to prepare and keep, to add that oomph of flavour to your biryani recipe:
1. Take whole flowers of mace (javitri), cardamom (elaichi), nutmeg (jaiphal), star anise (chakra phool) and corns of the commercially available allspice. (You may replace allspice with actual whole spices too).
2. Dry-roast all the spices together.
3. Allow them to cool and then grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar.