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How do I make my own curry powder from raw spices ?

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How do I make a curry powder from whole spices ?

Raw Curry Spices

Curry powder is a Western term not used in India. Spices in India are mixed together depending on the dish being cooked.

So there is no one definitive recipe for curry powder, instead, it is a technique for blending certain types of spices together to prepare for cooking specific dishes.

The classic ‘all purpose’ curry powder commonly used in Western kitchens is more like a madras powder; and there are plenty of twists and variations depending on the chef and the dish being cooked.

Typical spices to include are cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, mustard seed, chilli, and pepper. Not only used as a base for curries, a curry powder can be used to season meat, or, add into a stew or dressing.

A recipe for a classic all purpose curry powder is below, and will result in a far superior curry spice blend than the bland brand names you will find in Woolworths or Coles. Note the dry frying to release the aroma of the spices before blending together in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. The curry spice will last 4-6 weeks in an airtight container kept in a cool dark place.

Ingredients :

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon cardamom powder

Dry fry the whole spices (ie. The seeds, cloves, and peppercorns) in a frying pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they release their aroma. Be careful not to burn.

In a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder, blend the mixture together well

Add the ground spices and mix everything together well.

A Madras curry powder is very similar to the all purpose curry powder but in different proportions - without the cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom; and with ground ginger added.

Ingredients :

4 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 turmeric powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Follow the same method as the all purpose curry powder, dry frying the seeds and peppercorns for a minute until fragrant, and then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.

A Ceylon curry powder is a slight variation again :

Ingredients :

4 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 short cinnamon quill (use real cinnamon not cassia)

6 cloves

¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds

2 teaspoons dried curry leaves

2 small red chillis (dried)

The method is the same again, dry frying the seeds for 2-3 minutes until fragrant being careful not to burn. Powder together in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and store in an airtight container for up to 4-6 weeks in a cool dry place.



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