Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Curry Powder

We had something I pulled from the depths of our freezer for dinner tonight, so I don't really have a recipe to share today. I thought I'd share my recipe for the curry powder that was the base of the pumpkin, lentil & spinach curry I rescued from said freezer.

In general I try not to buy anything pre-made. I prefer to have the pantry (and fridge & freezer) stocked with enough base ingredients that I can make anything we want/need - even if it means a bit more work. Plus, the food tastes a lot better, I know exactly what is in everything, and we can avoid the dreaded preservative 282, and palm oil products. One of the few things I do buy pre-made are Thai and Indian curry pastes, and 'it's not ideal' (to quote Claire from MC), but I have no idea where to start without them.

So when FMIL passed me this recipe for and Indian-style curry powder, that could be made with ingredients I already had in the spice cupboard (except fenugreek - I have NEVER known what you were supposed to do with it, so I have consciously avoided buying it... but FMIL provided that too :) ), I jumped at the chance.

It's not a spicy curry powder, so if you prefer it hotter, I would add chilli flakes (to taste) with the other ingredients.

I used 3-4 tbs, cooked off in approx. 2 tbs vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil), for 2/3 smallish pumpkin and 1 (or was it 1 1/2?) cup of lentils. I'm sure you could also use it in similar ratios for chicken, but I'm not so sure about beef - I don't think it would be robust enough.

Alphie's FMILs Indian-style curry powder
makes just over 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tbs caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Now, this is the hard bit... put everything in a food processor and process until well ground. Then store in an airtight container.

It is actually harder than it sounds, I used my stick mixer, and the bowl attachment that came with it, and it did a pretty poor job. Next time I'll use the proper food processor, with its 'dual blade technology'. I am tempted to use the coffee grinder, but FH Alphie had a fit when I mentioned it, so it looks like its the food processor or the mortar and pestle (if I'm feeling active!) next time.


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