a well stocked spice rack is a magical thing.
DIY Spice Mixes: Homemade Curry Powder
|Coriander in the mortar and pestle, turmeric and whole cardamom pods.|
So... store bought curry blends are ok, if you splurge for the fancy-pants kind they can even be pretty tasty. But having a well stocked spice rack and the ability to throw together a complex, from scratch, homemade curry at the drop of a hat?That's something special. As a bonus, every individual spice required for this curry powder has endless other applications. Why limit yourself to a pre-blended curry powder when you can stock up on gorgeous fresh spices that can be used in a million other recipes? Turmeric, for example, has an indescribably earthy flavor and is a know anti-inflamatory, a flavorful addition to soups, stews, rice dishes and can even be made into tea. Cumin is a heavily used spice in Latin American dishes. Cardamom can be used in a variety of Indian dishes, is a key ingredient in Chai and is also wonderful paired with many different fruits. With the exception of the turmeric and chili powder, which are infinitely easier to find ground, I highly recommend splurging for whole spices. While a bit more expensive than ground, they stay fresh significantly longer and absolutely nothing compares to the taste/aroma of freshly ground spices. Bulk whole spices are sometimes available at food co-ops and are a great value. Indian/Asian markets are also a reliable spot to seek out less expensive spices. Whole spices can be easily ground by hand with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder, blender or even electric coffee grinder. When using fresh cardamom, pinch the pod until it splits and peel away the exterior green shell, using only the interior seeds. The shell can be reserved and used to make cardamom sugar. Simply bundle the shells in a bit of cheesecloth, tie closed and toss into a small jar of sugar.
Let sit for a week or so and you'll have fragrant cardamom scented sugar,
a lovely addition to baked goods, tea, coffee or even mixed drinks.
Homemade Curry Powder
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, exterior pods removed
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Place all spices in a mortar and pestle
or spice grinder.
Grind into a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container.
Keep in a cool dry place.