It’s ever so easy – Measure, Roast, Grind and Shake – sounds like a dance doesn’t it! The Curry dance, or maybe the Masala Dance…….. ok I’ll stop there!
I love curry and I know I’m not alone, did you know that Chicken Tikka Masala is the nation’s favourite dish? Well it does depend on who you ask, but it’s definitely popular.
And there’s nothing better than homemade curry, the flavours are a delight, be it warming, spicy, pungent, sour – you name it the flavour combinations are seemingly endless.
In the background of great curries is a great curry powder. And we’ll be needing some homemade curry powder for the next couple of dishes that I make for me and the blogg. So what better than to make your own curry powder?
The beauty of making your own is that you get to choose the proportion of ingredients – more or less cumin, a touch of fennel, you decide! A lot of preprepared curry powders are full of colourings with the bulk of the mix made up of the cheaper spices like corriander. Besides, the freshness of the powder is undoubted, think about it, how old is that jar of powder that is stuck at the back of the cupboard?
And once you have made it, you will realise how easy it is and how versatile – sprinkle a bit on some fish with a squeeze of lemon before you grill or fry it, marinate some chicken or prawns, spice up some lentils or veggies . The flavours are intense and rich, subtle and well just splendid!
My first ever curry powders were based on Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, and that’s where I’ll go to for this mix, but there are so many great recipes, check out Peri’s Spice Ladle, and you’ll see what I mean!
What do you need to make your own curry powder? A selection of whole dried spices, a small frying pan and a grinder or pestle and mortar. It really couldn’t be simpler !
A word about the chillies, I’ve used whole dried chillies, plural. If you aren’t a fan of hot then reduce the amount to 1 whole chilli, or if in doubt leave it out altogether; remember you can always add heat, you can’t take it away!
Curry Powder Recipe
Based on an original recipe by Madhur Jaffrey
Makes about 12 heaped teaspoons of curry powder
- 2 tbls coriander seeds
- 1 tbls cumin seeds
- 1- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- small stick of cinnamon
- 3 dried chillies
- 6 cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Remember – Measure, Roast, Grind and Shake? Well you’ve done the Measuring now it’s time to Roast, Grind and Shake
Using a small frying pan (non-stick is good) warm it on the stove on a low heat,when warm add all the spices except the turmeric powder and gently warm the spices up. You will see the spices gradually change and darken in colour and the aroma from them will greet you as you shake the pan around and/or stir the spices around. This process takes about 5 minutes. You don’t want to burn the spices, just gently warm them through.
Empty the spices into a bowl and cool for a few minutes, now put them into a spice grinder/coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar and start grinding. You may have to do this in several batches depending on how big the grinder is or how well developed your arm muscles are! You are looking to create a fine powder.
When finely ground, put the mix into a clean dry jar, and add the turmeric. Put the lid on and shake it well. Label the jar and keep it, preferably, in a cool cupboard. It will keep well for months (if not longer), but ours doesn’t last that long!