Biryani Spice Blend

I have a large collection of whole spices that I prefer to use when cooking, rather than store bought ground mixes. I am always worried about what has gone into these mixes, and I can always make them at home in the quantity I need, rather than buy a particular blend and only use it once. Whole spices keep longer and are really simple to turn into ground spices if that is what your recipe calls for. All you need is a frying pan and a spice grinder. I have a very basic coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices. All I do is give it a good wipe after each use. It is important that it is not used for coffee though, as I don’t want any additional flavours in my morning cuppa. As I was given a recipe which calls for Biryani mix and I turned to my ever useful Curry recipe book, and used that as inspiration to make my own spice blend. I can really recommend that you try this method as you will find you waste less and seldom have to toss out spices as they won’t lose their oomph if you buy them whole.

do you use whole spices in your kitchen?

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Biryani Spice Blend

Recipe Category: Spice Blend
Makes enough for: 1 batch spice blend
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from CURRY page 138


  • 2 quills cinnamon, rubbed between your hands and broken in half
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 5 mls cumin seeds
  • 5 mls black peppercorns
  • 5 mls cloves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 5 mls cayenne pepper
  • 5 mls ground turmeric
  • 5 mls ground coriander


  • In a frying pan, heat the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and star anise until you can smell the spices
  • Grind them in a spice grinder until fine
  • Add them to the rest of the ingredients

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39 thoughts on “Biryani Spice Blend

  1. Hi Tandy, i only use whole spices and grind my spices on a weekly basis–what i would need for the week. It really is the best method as the aroma from freshly ground spices is amazing. Well done on your biryani mix

  2. I love Indian food and always make my own spice mixes, the lovely flavours emanating when dry roasting the whole spices make me anticipate the finished meal – my stomach is growling, what’s the matter?

  3. I need to make my own mixes! It seems so simple and like it would be so much more flavorful. Gotta invest in some good quality basics first.

    1. Once you have the basics it will be easy to make your own blends – and I think I shall do a blog post on what is in my spice drawer 🙂

  4. Nice mix of spices…I yet have to make my own.
    Thanks for the recipe and have a wonderful week ahead Tandy 🙂

  5. I have been wanting to start using more whole spices. I’ve heard they stay fresher whole, which makes sense. Then you can just grind what you need. I have noticed that I do prefer the flavor from a cinnamon stick to the ground cinnamon.

  6. Hi Tandy,
    Your spice mix sounds wonderful! I too, love to make fresh mix of spices. Although I do have some spices that I use regularly ground and kept well sealed in a little container.
    The taste of freshly ground spices really brightens up a dish!

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