TSC's Curry Powder, "Advanced Madras Style"
This is not pepper hot (tikkut/piquant), the philosophy
being that the source of such hotness should come from as
few sources as possible, i.e., fresh chilies and hot
pepper powders made from dried hot peppers, so that the
tikkut can be more easily controlled.
Mix 1:1 with turmeric for a lighter Thai "phom kari"
About 3/4 cup
Dry roasted together:
2 @ Bay leaves (medium)
4 @ Cloves
6 @ whole green Cardamom pods (elaichi)
3 TBS Coriander seeds
1 TBS Yellow Mustard seeds
2 tsp Black Mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp Black peppercorns
Dry roasted together:
3 TBS Cumin seeds (Jeera or Zeera)
1 TBS Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 tsp Fennel/Anise seeds (Saunf)
1/2 tsp Nigella "kalonji" ("black onion seeds", which they are not)
1/2 tsp Caraway seeds
Dry roasted together:
3 TBS Tumeric (haldi)
1/4 tsp Ginger, dried, ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (cassia bark), ground
1/4 tsp Mace, ground
1/4 tsp Allspice, ground
1. Do the separate dry roastings in an iron fry pan at a medium
temperature, allowing approximately one minute of time from
when the spices begin to smoke. Stir from the beginning to
the end of the smoking minute.
Roast the groups in the order given.
Allow all groups of spices to come to room temperature.
2. Grind all together to a powder. Store in a tightly sealed
jar in a cool place.
1. Curry powder is in a sense not a real part of subcontinental
cuisine, but became an item through the relatively tasteless
British, packaging up a specific spice collection from the
myriad that are used in various dishes. The name seems to come
from the "kari leaf", a fresh spice that is never part of
any curry powder because dried it becomes quite useless.
The Brits are not very good at languages either. Now, there
is a great variety of commercial curry powders with various
tastes. But you will find in this wide range, four ingredients
that are always present:
coriander, cumino, fenugreek, turmeric
An interesting bit is that a dish called "currie" made with
a collection of spices was known and recorded in the writings
of the British Isles in the 15th century, so the common idea
that the idea of curry was brought back to England after it
invaded and conquered India in 1757 is suspect. England
did, however, have commerce with India long before that,
as did the rest of Europe regarding spices. We need only
remember the alleged purpose of the voyages of the murderer,
2. Grind this up only in relatively small batches for your
personal use since ground spices tend to loose their
potency much more quickly than when left whole.
It is also a wonderful and personal gift for those
appreciate subcontinental cuisine.
3. A good (useful) curry powder will provide an almost
neutral baseline of flavor from which amplifications
of any of its ingredients can be made, or against
which new flavors can be introduced.
That was the culinary answer to the obvious question, if this
stuff is basically illegitimate culinarily, then what is
it good for and why are you bothering me with it?
Notice that Emeril Lagasse has introduced a similar
concept with his collection of "essences", which, I might
add are quite useful to keep on hand as flavor bases.
Emeril is not only a great and creative chef, but one of
of the world's certified good guys - and you can't hardly
get them nomore. Thank you, George Gobel.
4. The recipe scales, of course.
5. Keep a separate iron pan for spice roasting. When you are
finished with a use of it, simply let it cool and then wipe
it out well with a dry cloth or paper towel. Never wash it,
unless you absolutely must. This way you will keep and
improve the pan's seasoning appropriate to its dedicated use.
If you must wash it for whatever reason, bring a coating of
high temp. oil (e.g., grapeseed oil) to smoking point. Let
the pan cool, wipe it out well, and continue as if nothing
had happened or changed.
6. Needless to say (Then, why am I saying it?) this same pan
can be used in making your own sambhar and rasam powders,
garam masala, toasting ground coconut and various flours,
especially nut flours.
7. This curry powder is designed exactly to be a base of
aromatic flavor. Think of what you want to make, and
enhance any one of the components to match your creative
intention. E.g., a bit of this powder added to ground
cumin seed, and you have the basis of a profound Murgh
Jeera. Find your own path of learning.
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Created: June 23, 2007
Last Updated: December 1, 2011