Sunday 3 October 2010

Just wanted to add this one on, as I have a delicious recipe for my prawn biriyani coming up that uses this spice mix. This recipe makes enough for one biriyani recipe. Increase quantities exponentially for a bigger batch that you can store in an airtight tin for up to a year.

This recipe has been born out of a lot of trial and error to find the spice level that suits our family, so do feel free to change it around to suit your spice tolerance.


3 inch stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
10 cloves
10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (if using black cardamom, reduce to 5 pods)
4 bay leaves, dried
4 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp whole cumin
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg (freshly grated is better)
3 or 4 pods of black cardamom, opened and lightly crushed (optional)
2 long mild red chillies

In a hot, heavy pan, add all the spices, except the nutmeg, and toss them around, constantly stirring, for around 1 - 3 minutes until they are lightly toasted and the kitchen smells heavenly! Do not allow the spices to burn, keep a sharp eye out.

In a powerful spice blender, grind the spices till they are a fine powder. Add the grated nutmeg to the mix, stir and it is ready to use. If making a big batch, store in an airtight container.


  1. WOW! This was an amazing recipe... Thank you so much! Emily from Petaluma, CA

  2. Hi there,
    Just wondering if you have conversions to use ground substitutes as opposed to whole spices if we don't have the spice blender?

    1. Hi Amanda, absolutely. The mix won't be as fragrant as a fresh ground one, but it will still be really good :)

    2. Thanks Michelle - can you recommend proper amounts to substitute? Thanks so much!

    3. Hi Amanda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom increase to 1 teaspoon if not using black cardamom) seeds. Bay leaf is usually not ground, so you can skip it and use whole leaves in the biriyani. Everything else s straight substitutions in ground form. 1 teaspoon chili powder, mild.

    4. Thank you! Much appreciated. Can't wait to try this!


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