Before studying at chef school I’d always assumed that curry powders were a spice on their own. Ground from some mysterious curry tree somewhere they’d appear on our shelves in the store. Seriously. Curry powders are a Western phenomenon. Apparently to prevent confusing European customers, Indian merchants would mix all the spices together and sell them to travelers returning to Europe.
A curry is not a spice nor is it a specific dish. Curry refers to the blend of spices, herbs and sometimes berries that are mixed together and used as a flavouring and seasoning for various dishes. It can be a wet blend or a dry blend. The most convenient is a dry blend as it lasts for ages in your cupboard but for a more intense depth of flavour I’ve found that a wet curry blend is key. Thai curries make use of wet curry pastes and often incorporate shrimps and fresh chillies. This recipe is for a dry, powdered curry powder. It’s quick and easy as pie…and instead of buying store bought powders you can actually choose what you’d like in your curry powder! Your chicken curry won’t taste like you neighbour’s.
Its quick and can be made in a dry blender or better yet, in a old fashioned pestle and mortar. You don’t really need a curry powder to be fine like flour but the trick to getting a really fine powder is to dry roast all the ingredients in a pan (or oven if you’re more advanced at it) and then allowing them to cool before crushing them.
- 45g Cumin seeds
- 15g Coriander seeds
- 15g Smoked paprika
- 5g ground Cloves
- 10g Mustard seeds
- 10 dried red chillies
- 15g ground Cinnamon
- 15g ground Turmeric
- 15g ground Ginger
- Slice the dried chillies in half and remove the seeds. Chop fine
- Combine all the ingredients in a oven pan and roast at 177 degrees Celsius in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool
- If you have a spice blender blend the spice mix until fine. If you don’t have a spice blender crush the spices in a pestle and mortar until it becomes a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container