Beef/Fish Curry Masala

One of the hidden treasures of Zanzibar is a spice blending workshop. Murtala, the workshop master lives outside the town in a small house overlooking the Indian Ocean. I attended one of his classes while in Stone Town. After 2 hours and having spent 30 USD, I learnt how to prepare my own beef/fish masala, tea masala and Zanzibari biryani masala. If you’re preparing masalas at home using below recipes, better roast your spices before grinding.


Beef/Fish Curry Masala

A handful of cinnamon sticks

10 cardamon pods

2 tbsp. cumin

2 tbsp. coriander

½ star anise

½ nutmeg

1 handful of dried curry leaves

3 dried pili pili chili or any other red chilies

1 tbsp. ginger powder

½ tbsp. black pepper


Depending whether you want to make red curry or yellow curry, add 2 tbsp. of sweet paprika or 2 tbsp. of turmeric.


Place everything in a mortar and grind until powdered.


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