What makes the Kolkata biryani special is the combination of spices and fragrances used in its preparation. While biryani moshlas used in the Shiraz, Arsalan, Zeeshan, or Aminia kitchens aren't exactly closely guarded secrets (these kitchens have been widely featured in newspapers, magazines, television, and YouTube videos), it is difficult to to gauge the proportions among the spices to achieve balance of flavours. Follow the measurements in this recipe to recreate the distinctive subtle flavours of the Kolkata biryani masala.
- 1 pc (0.75 g) black cardamom (boro elach)
- 6 pcs (1.25 g) green cardamom (choto elach)
- 3 cm (0.5 g) cinnamon
- ¾ tsp (1.5 g) cloves
- ½ a pc (1.2 g) nutmeg (jaiphol)
- 2 pcs (1.75 g) mace (joyitree)
- ½ tsp (1 g) fennel seeds (mouri)
- 2 g shah jeera (caraway seeds)
- 2 g kabab chini (cubeb or tailed pepper)
- ½ tsp (1.25 g) black pepper
- 3 g white pepper
- Dry roast all the spices listed above on medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Grind to a fine powder.