Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homemade Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of many spices, and comes in different varieties. Each curry powder can have different component spices, in differing amounts-making each curry blend unique. I always thought that curry powder came from a curry plant, but I learned that this isn't the case. Some curry powder recipes don't even contain "curry" from the curry plant - so the telling of the spice blend isn't without twists and turns.

What is known for certain is that the blend of spices first originated in South Asia.

Since it comes from that region, the curry powder blend is actually a mixture of various spices grown in that area, including coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cloves, and others. Although I don't know for certain, it is possible that each curry powder recipe could be different because of the availability of the spices in South Asia. For example, just as Chicken Adobo tastes different depending upon the region of the Philippines you visit, the spices used in the recipe is based upon what could be purchased in the market.

What follows is a curry powder recipe from Greens and Seeds, along with their photographs. It may take some experimenting to find the recipe you like. Those can be easily found by doing a Google search.

Homemade Curry Powder

1 scant Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more for extra spicy)

  • Combine the coriander, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds in a small skillet over medium heat. 
  • Toast for a few minutes, until fragrant and just starting to pop. Careful not to burn them.
  • Transfer to a spice grinder, then add the peppercorns, tumeric, ginger and red pepper flakes. Grind into a fine powder. 
  • Store in a tightly sealed jar.
Makes 1/4 cup

Simple Chicken Curry

4-5 Chicken breasts (cut into medium-sized tenders)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup, combined with 1 soup can of milk
1 heaping Tbsp of mayo
Sprinkle of curry powder
garlic powder
salt and pepper
  • Prepare 1 or 2 rectangular oven safe baking pans that have been lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle the pan bottoms with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and cracked pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness before you proceed.
  • Begin cutting the breast into small morsels, placing them directly into a large pot as you cut. I use kitchen scissors and hold them with tongs.
  • Once they are all cut-up, combine the Cream of Chicken soup with the milk directly over the chicken morsels. Heat through until all of the lumps are gone. (Note: soy milk doesn't taste good if you are going to substitute.)
  • Now add the heaping Tbsp of mayo. Don't use a measuring spoon - rather use a utensil.
  • Sprinkle the top of your ingredients with about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of curry powder. Try using less before using more. I don't measure it, but do it by eye. 1/2 tsp may be too much.
  • Once it is heated through, add a little more cracked pepper and salt to taste. Serve over white rice. A side of broccoli goes well with this recipe.

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