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
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.