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.
Pilau Masala (use 1 tbsp. for each ½ kg of rice)
3 big sticks of cinnamon
½ tbsp. cardamom pods
½ tbsp. coriander pods
¼ tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. dried ginger
Place everything in a mortar and grind until powdered. Before using with rice, add some garlic and onion.