curry powder

I love curries, but even the mildest of store-bought curry powders has cayenne in it. I'm allergic to cayenne (cayenne=a pepper=nightshade), so whenever a recipe calls for curry powder, I have to make it at home. This isn't as hard or annoying as it might sound. Were it hard or annoying to make, I could make a lot of it at once and just keep it in a spice jar for a while. But I like making it a tablespoon or so at a time because I can control and adjust the ingredients to taste.

Curry powder is, in approximate order of proportions: ground coriander seed, cumin, turmeric, and some other spices. Those are really the only three essentials (in my opinion), but then to that, you can add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, mustard, ginger, fenugreek, asafoetida, black pepper, cayenne (if you can eat it). Because you can adjust the flavor ever so slightly with each of the spices you include or omit, making the curry powder a tablespoon or two at a time allows me to adjust the flavor of a recipe a bit each time. The cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, fenugreek, and ginger all give dishes a sweetish, warm taste; asafoetida, mustard, and black pepper give it a bitterness or a bite. Making curry powder yourself means you can make the flavor match the rest of the ingredients in a dish. Or your mood.
Plus I like to mix the curry powder in cute little bowls.
The real way to make your own curry powder is to do it with whole seeds--coriander seeds, cumin seads--that you lightly roast then grind before adding the other spices. I've done it once or twice, and it's incredibly tasty and distinctive, but it also requires some advanced planning, and depending on your recipe, a spice or coffee grinder. But if you're looking for great curry powder (and a lot of other awesome spice mixes), the Lord Krishna's Cuisine cookbook is one of my favorites. Recipes also abound online, of course. You can also just wing it! Use this as a guideline: 1 part cumin, 1 part coriander, 1/2 part turmeric, and 1/8 to 1/4 part any other ingredients (except asafoetida--only use a tiny sprinkle; that stuff is strong). So if a recipe calls for a tablespoon of curry powder that's 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp turmeric, and dashes of whatever else you feel like.


panda with cookie said... Best Blogger Tips

I just ran out of curry powder so I am bookmarking this for making at home.

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

Yay! It is not a science, and it's good for using up those spices you only ever otherwise use once a month or something (like cardamom or allspice, which sit in my spice drawer foreverrrr).

Heatherette said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for this recipe, can you please make one for hot sauce too? We love spicy food, but I am discovering I can't eat nightshades. My hubby eats everything with hotsauce, everything. All of it. Thanks!!!