Recipe notes and substitutes:
* cassia buds are dried unopened flowers of the cinnamon tree. So, you can substitute with a piece or two of cinnamon sticks. Even whole allspice may be used if you have that.
** Chironji or charoli seeds are lentil sized nuts of a tree with scientific name Buchanania lanzan. These almond flavored nuts are widely used in sweet and savory dishes such as these in Indian cuisine. If you don’t have some on hand, use dessicated coconut instead to make up for the quantity of nuts.
*** Hyderabadi potli ka masala is used like a bouquet garni in meat dishes like nihari, and sometimes in biryani, korma, etc. Its a mix of exotic spices, dried roots, dried leaves, rose petals etc. Although not absolutely required for making marag (hence you can leave it altogether), it gives a new dimension in flavor hence I like to add a little amount of it. Its available in Indian and Pakistani grocery shops and can be frozen for a long time. If you cant find that then boil a few bay leaves, whole coriander and dried rose petals if available in some water. Strain and add the water.