The term ‘pilau’ refers to an Indian and Middle Eastern rice dish. This Pilau Spice Blend or Masala, is a spice mix that is made of cumin, cinnamon, black peppercorn seeds and cardamom pods as the basic ingredients. My blend includes ginger powder and ground dried bell pepper. This spice mix is then used to make chicken pilau rice. Recipes tend to vary with regions and personal preference. I prefer home made and grind all organic whole spices. You can use the ready store bought ground spices as a short cut. Your dish will taste almost as good though not as aromatic.
If you are in the mood for an exotic rice preparation then this aromatic spice blend is a must. When using pilau spices, the best rice to use would be long grain and preferably the aromatic Basmati Rice. What is it that makes these spices so alluring? They have incredible medicinal and even psychotropic, or mind-altering, capacities. They’re like aromatherapy and they satisfy both the physical and spiritual needs.
This recipe can be doubled or increased to make bulk for storage and it lasts up to 4 months in an airtight glass jar. I use this Spice Blend to make my all time favourite go to 'pop in the oven' One-Pot Ginger Chicken Pilau. My husband loves it and never fails to go for a second helping.
Interesting facts and Ayurvedic uses of these spices :
Cardamom – used to give flavour and smell in cooking particularly in sweet dishes and also in the pharmaceutical sector. It helps in digestive disorders and controlling bad breath.
Cinnamon – used for preparing masalas and for seasoning food. It reduces blood cholesterol and helps in the production of insulin.
Cumin – used in cooking and is a good source of iron and keep one immune from diseases. Cumin seeds boiled in water helps in coping with dysentery.
Turmeric – used in cooking and in skin care products. It helps in healing cuts and wounds and in skin problems. It also helps in coping with diabetes.
Black Pepper – used in cooking and seasoning. It helps in coping with muscle pains, cold, cough, infections and digestive problems.
Garlic – used in cooking and helps to cope with cough and cold and has antibiotic properties.
Ginger – used in cooking and helps in cough and cold and aids in preventing digestive problems.
Pilau Spice Blend
- ½ tsp ground fresh Cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground Cumin
- ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Ginger powder
- ½ tsp all spice or garam Masala optional
- ½ tsp turmeric powder optional
- 1 tsp ground mixed dried bell pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic powder or granules
- ½ tsp Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt Flakes optional
- Put all the above in a bowl, give it a good stir and mix till well combined.
- You can double or triple the amounts if needed.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
- Use as needed.
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