Making the Masala Powder (optional)
- 1Look for masala spice mix in stores if you don’t want to make it yourself. You can find nihari masala powder in Pakistani or Indian grocery stores, or nihari masala spice mix to grind at home. If you purchased the pre-made spice mix, skip directly to the next section.
2Consider adding optional spices. Nihari spice mixes vary from chef to chef, but most of them use at least the spices described here. If you have not had nihari masala before, you may wish to try the basic recipe out first before you make major adjustments. You could, however, add a few dried red chiles for a spicier dish, or add spices that you know were used in a nihari you enjoyed in the past. If you want to experiment more, there are many additional spices you could add to taste:
- You may also use garam masala or potli ka masala spice mix.
3Dry roast certain spices first. Add the cumin and fennel to a dry, non stick pan and heat while stirring. If you are using dried red chiles or mace as well, add these at the same time. Keep heating and stirring for a minute or two, until you spices release a stronger scent and the color just begins to change.
- Besides dried red chiles, you could add mace, star anise, poppy seeds, paprika, or rock salt.
- Spices that may be difficult to locate outside of Pakistan or India include amchoor (green mango powder), and jeera. The word “jeera” is used to mean several different spices, any of which can be used in masala. It is sometimes sold as black caraway or black cumin, or a mix of the two.
4Add the other spices and continue roasting. The remaining spices take less time to roast, so add them to the mix later. Roast the cloves, peppercorns, cumin, nutmeg, ginger powder, both types of cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaf with the other ingredients for about a minute longer, while stirring. Add any remaining optional ingredients at the same time.
- Stop roasting immediately if the chiles turn black.
5Grind the spice mix, leaving out certain ingredients. Pour the roasted spices into a food processor, spice mixer, or mortar and grind until it has formed a powder. Remove the hard cinnamon stick if present. If using the masala immediately, grind the bay leaf along with the other spices. Otherwise, set aside the bay leaf for later.
- If the initial spices are already much darker colored and more fragrant, and you do not want to risk burning them, you may skip this step and add the remaining spices to the mix un-roated.
6Store the masala powder. Use immediately, or store in a sealed container. Place a bay leaf in with the spice mix to add additional bay flavor. Keep in a dry, dark location, or in the refrigerator if keeping it more than a few days.
- Some people add a little chana dal powder to this mixture as well, a powder formed from lentils, chickpeas, or peas. This is not vital for meat dishes such as nihari, which already have a good source of protein.
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Source: wikihow. com